Public Release:  New research for mechanical support devices in pediatrics to be released at ISHLT

International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation

BOSTON, MA, April 9, 2008 - New devices and research for mechanical circulatory support in pediatrics from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Pediatric Circulatory Support Program will be discussed at the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) 28th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions. The meeting is ongoing this week at the Boston Marriott Copley Place and Hynes Convention Center.

The use of mechanical circulatory support devices (MCSDs) is shown to decrease wait list mortality and improve efficiency of organ utilization in children. Close to 1,800 children with congenital heart defects die each year, and 25 percent of the 36,000 babies born with these malformations require invasive treatment within the first year of life. Despite rapid technologic advances that have allowed development of sophisticated MCSDs for adults, very few such options exist for infants and children in need of mechanical circulatory support.

Acknowledging this vacancy, the NHLBI Pediatric Circulatory Support Program awarded five contracts to develop a family of devices. These include:

  • An implantable mixed-flow ventricular assist device designed specifically for patients up to two years of age
  • Another mixed-flow ventricular assist device that can be implanted intravascularly or extravascularly depending on size
  • Compact integrated pediatric cardiopulmonary assist systems
  • Apically implanted axial-flow ventricular assist device
  • Pulsatile-flow ventricular assist device.

"The field of pediatric mechanical circulatory support received a boost from the NHLBI program even beyond the much needed support for the development of these innovative new devices. There is a real sense of momentum in this field and the NHLBI program is largely responsible for this," said Brian Duncan, M.D., Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery, Children's Hospital, Cleveland Clinic.

At this year's meeting, Dr. Duncan will present data on the progress in development of each device. Because the program has reached its fifth year, the devices should soon be reaching the clinical trial phase, which Dr. Duncan will discuss as well.

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About ISHLT

The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and treatment of end-stage heart and lung diseases. Created in 1981, the society now includes more than 2,300 members from more than 45 countries, representing a variety of disciplines involved in the management and treatment of end-stage heart and lung disease.

ISHLT maintains two vital databases. The international Heart and Lung Transplant Registry is a one-of-a-kind registry that has been collecting data since 1983 from 223 hospitals from 18 countries. The ISHLT Mechanical Circulatory Device (MCSD) database has been collecting data since 2002 with the aim of identifying patient populations who may benefit from MCSD implantation; generating predictive models for outcomes; and assessing the mechanical and biological reliability of current and future devices. In Fall 2006 ISHLT released the first international guidelines for heart failure patient management. For more information, visit www.ishlt.org.

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