Background: Implantation of mechanical cardiac support systems (MCSS) in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (IDC) may improve cardiac function and allow explantation of the device. We report of long-term effects of ventricular unloading on cardiac function, humoral anti-β1-adrenoceptor autoantibodies (A-β1-AABs), and myocardial fibrosis. Methods and Results: Seventeen patients in New York Heart Association functional class IV with nonischemic IDC received MCSS. All had a cardiac index of <1.6 L·min- 1·m-2 of body surface area, a left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of <16%, and a left ventricular internal diameter in diastole (LVIDd) of >68 mm and tested positive for A-β1-AABs. Echocardiographic evaluation, serum tests for A-β1-AABs, and histological assessment of myocardial fibrosis were performed before and after MCSS implantation. The mean support duration was 230±201 days. Six patients died, four were transplanted, and two are still on MCSS. Five patients with significant cardiac recovery (mean LVIDd, 54±2.3 mm; LVEF, 47±3.7%) were weaned after 160 to 794 days and are now device free for 51 to 592 days. A-β1-AABs disappeared gradually during MCSS without increase after weaning; cardiac function and volume density of fibrosis remained normal. Nine patients' cardiac function hardly improved during ventricular unloading. Conclusions: Cardiac function can be normalized in selected patients with end-stage IDC by MCSS. The degree of preoperative myocardial fibrosis may be an indicator for outcome; A-β1-AABs can be used to monitor myocyte recovery. Weaning from MCSS offers an alternative to cardiac transplantation in certain patients.
- Assist devices
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)