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Medical News & Perspectives
May 20, 1998

Using Ventricular Assist Devices as Long-term Therapy for Heart Failure

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JAMA. 1998;279(19):1509-1510. doi:10.1001/jama.279.19.1509

A MULTICENTER clinical trial will soon begin recruiting patients to see if ventricular assist devices (VADs) are an effective long-term treatment for patients with advanced congestive heart failure (CHF).

Although these implantable heart assist pumps are being used as a short-term "bridge to transplantation"—keeping patients with end-stage heart disease alive until a donor organ can be obtained—they have not been approved for long-term therapy.

The randomized, nonblinded, controlled trial, called REMATCH (for Randomized Evaluation of Mechanical Assistance and Treatment of Congestive Heart Failure), will seek to determine whether VADs and medical treatment are clearly superior to optimum medical treatment alone in improving patient survival and quality of life, said Eric A. Rose, MD, Valentine Mott/Johnson & Johnson Professor of Surgery and chair of the Department of Surgery at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, in New York, NY.

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