Mechanical ventricular assistance: An economical and effective means of treating end-stage heart disease

Sanjay M. Mehta, Thomas X. Aufiero, Walter E. Pae, Cynthia A. Miller, William S. Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background.: Heightened awareness of medical costs has escalated criticism toward expensive medical therapy. Methods.: The use of ventricular assistance devices (VADs) at Pennsylvania State University as a bridge to transplantation was reviewed. Records of 43 patients listed as status I from July 1991 to July 1994 were compared. Results.: This analysis demonstrated that for all patients treated with the intent to transplant, those who were bridged with a VAD exhibited a trend toward an improved transplantation rate (92% versus 68%) and a significantly greater rate of discharge from the hospital (92% versus 55.4%; p = 0.023) than the medically managed patients. Although overall charges and costs were higher in VAD-supported patients, this was related to significantly longer pretransplantation hospitalization. When normalized to daily costs and charges, this discrepancy in expenses was eliminated. Conclusions.: The superior rate of discharge at equitable daily costs and charges for the VAD patients draws continued enthusiasm toward use of these devices as a bridge to transplantation. Furthermore, development of outpatient care for VAD-supported patients and continued advances in the use of these devices may further reduce the cost of managing these critically ill patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)284-291
Number of pages8
JournalThe Annals of thoracic surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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