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Article
February 12, 1988

Postmortem Microbiological Findings of Two Total Artificial Heart Recipients

Author Affiliations

From Bellarmine College (Dr Dobbins) and Humana Heart Institute International, Humana Hospital Audubon (Drs Johnson and DeVries), Louisville, and Ohio State University, Columbus (Dr Kunin).

From Bellarmine College (Dr Dobbins) and Humana Heart Institute International, Humana Hospital Audubon (Drs Johnson and DeVries), Louisville, and Ohio State University, Columbus (Dr Kunin).

JAMA. 1988;259(6):865-869. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720060033026
Abstract

This report describes the postmortem microbiological findings and related gross pathology from two patients who had the longest survival after implantation of the Jarvik-7-100 total artificial heart. We documented extensive polymicrobial colonization at the site of the device and adjacent structures; however, the internal drive lines were remarkably free of bacterial colonization despite evidence of infection at the skin junction and in close proximity to the artificial heart. The polyurethane polymer (Biomer) on the external surface of the device was discolored and pitted in appearance and the Velcro material that attaches the two ventricles together was eroded. A nonspecific mass of tissue that was adherent to the device and to portions of the drive lines contained inflammatory cells, fibrinous debris, and colonies of microorganisms.

(JAMA 1988;259:865-869)

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