Approximately 5.7 million Americans suffer from heart failure and 550,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Approximately 250,000 die each year from heart failure. This study shows impressive improvements in survival, quality of life, reduces complications and duration of the device in patients who have had the device implanted again, said Mark Slaughter, MD, Director of Thoracic and Cardiovascular University of Louisville and director of the transplant center and mechanical assist device program at Jewish Hospital, footprints in the study and lead author of the newspaper. This device should be considered for use in all patients who qualify for treatment or waiting for a heart transplant or a permanent treatment.

A new generation of implanted devices that help the heart function did not properly is significantly more effective than the previous version, making these new devices appropriate to continue treatment for many Americans over 5 million people who suffer from heart failure.

This research was supported by Thoratec, the creator of both devices tested and the largest producer of mechanical heart assist devices in the United States. The devices are sometimes used while patients are awaiting heart transplants, but there is a question to be used as stand-alone therapy in some patients with end-stage heart failure, Slaughter said. One reason for this is the number of patients who are eligible for heart transplantation is significantly greater than the amount of available donor hearts, he said.

Quest Diagnostics has already sent letters to physicians of patients with suspicious findings on their trial of vitamin D, according Waeh Salameh, MD, FACS, Medical Director of the Laboratory of Endocrinology at Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute in San Juan Capistrano, California

We have also examined the quality of life and found that patients with continuous flow LVADs could walk twice as far in six minutes, on average, than those with a pulsatile-flow device, said Slaughter. Patients with continuous flow devices went from being able to walk any distance at all without being short of breath to walk the length of three football fields, on average. This is extremely important for these patients.

LVAD support has been used as a treatment for advanced heart failure since 1960, experimentally, but it was not until the end of the last century has become more widespread and began to be regarded as a life-long therapy, or destination. Less than 10 % of patients with advanced heart failure similar to that of patients in this study survive for two years after diagnosis unless they receive medical care.

Two hundred patients in 38 centers nationwide were randomly assigned to receive the latest ventricle, the left smaller continuous flow assist device , or a larger, pulsatile flow LVAD.

The new device creates a continuous flow of blood in and out of the failing heart, while the older device mimics the action of cardiac function by means of alternating pulse with the blood sucked into the pump from the left ventricle, and then ejected in the aorta.