Mechanical circulatory support in children: past, present and future

Svetlana B. Shugh, Kyle W. Riggs, David L. S. Morales


Rapid advances in the field of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) have dramatically changed the management of pediatric patients with heart failure. There is now emphasis on timely implantation of ventricular assist devices (VADs) to preserve or recover end-organ function, and increased focus on post-implant management to improve the stroke rate. Transplant waitlist mortality has significantly decreased in the era of VAD use. Devices approved for adults are being used off-label in children with excellent outcomes, allowing chronic therapy and discharge home to become part of pediatric VAD therapy.