International Perfusion Association


Test Bench for Right Ventricular Failure Reversibility: The Hybrid BiVAD Concept

Background: When heart transplantation and myocardial recovery are unlikely, patients presenting with biventricular cardiogenic shock initially treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) may benefit from a mechanical support upgrade. In this scenario, a micro-invasive approach is proposed: the combination of the double-lumen ProtekDuo cannula (Livanova, London, UK) and the Impella 5.5 (Abiomed, Danvers, MA) trans-aortic pump that translates into a hybrid BiVAD.

Methods: All consecutive ECMO patients presenting with biventricular cardiogenic shock and ineligibility to heart transplantation from August 2022 were prospectively enrolled. The clinical course, procedural details, and in-hospital events were collected via electronic medical records.

Results: A total of three patients, who were temporarily not eligible for heart transplantation or durable LVAD due to severe acute pneumonia and right ventricular (RV) dysfunction, were implanted with a hybrid BiVAD. This strategy provided high-flow biventricular support while pulmonary function ameliorated. Moreover, by differentially sustaining the systemic and pulmonary circulation, it allowed for a more adequate reassessment of RV function. All the patients were considered eligible for isolated durable LVAD and underwent less invasive LVAD implantation paired with a planned postoperative RVAD. In all cases, RV function gradually recovered and the RVAD was successfully removed.

Conclusions: The Hybrid BiVAD represents an up-to-date micro-invasive mechanical treatment of acute biventricular failure beyond ECMO. Its rationale relies on more physiological circulation across the lungs, the complete biventricular unloading, and the possibility of including an oxygenator in the circuit. Finally, the independent and differential control of pulmonary and systemic flows allows for more accurate RV function evaluation for isolated durable LVAD eligibility reassessment.

Keywords: BiVAD; Impella 5.5; ProtekDuo; biventricular shock; right ventricular failure.

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