Hearing that you or your child is in end-stage heart failure is a very frightening time. The Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has many device options that may be used to mechanically support the heart and improve blood flow to the body. This mechanical support may be used with the goal of transplant or used to support the patient for the rest of the patient's life.

Our Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) program is a nationally recognized leader in mechanical circulatory support (MCS). Learn more about VADs and MCS on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

By the Numbers

  • Over 150 VADs have been placed

Our VAD Program uses devices to support patients while they wait for a donor heart (bridge-to-transplant) or to recover a heart in temporary dysfunction (bridge-to-recovery).

We also support patients with VADs who are not transplant candidates (destination therapy). Destination therapy can be an alternative to heart transplantation for ineligible patients or an option for patients who do not want to pursue transplantation.

Supported Conditions

We offer devices tailored to each patient for a full spectrum of conditions including:

  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Myocarditis
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • Chemotherapy induced dysfunction
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy
  • Left Ventricular Non-Compaction Cardiomyopathy
  • Chronic and acute transplant rejection
  • Congenital heart disease

Devices Available

Short-term support devices

  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • RotaFlow LVAD or RVAD
  • Centrimag/Pedimag LVAD or RVAD
  • Novalung

Long-term support devices

  • Berlin Heart EXCOR
  • HeartMate 3
  • 50cc and 70cc SynCardia Total Artificial Heart (TAH)
  • HeartWare HVAD
  • Jarvik (clinical trial)

ACTION Learning Network

Cincinnati Children's Heart Institute is a part of The Advanced Cardiac Therapies Improving Outcomes Network (ACTION) network. The operations team and data coordinating center for ACTION are also housed within the Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute. The ACTION network is made up of clinicians, researchers, parents, and patients from across a wide variety of medical institutions. The main goal is to improve critical outcomes for children with heart failure by uniting providers and families, sharing data and outcomes transparently, improving education and standardizing best practices. Such a model of collaboration and improvement increases the speed, efficiency, and effectiveness of knowledge generation, innovation, and dissemination.

Angela Lorts, MD, MBA, Director, Ventricular Assist Device Program and Associate Chief Quality Officer – Outcomes at Cincinnati Children's co-created ACTION in 2017. She serves as the Co-Executive Director of the ACTION Learning Network.

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