We report two cases at a single institution, a 52-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman, who had failures of their CardioWest total artificial hearts (TAH) from central venous lines that caused obstruction of the right ventricular inflow valves. Each patient was noted to have decreasing TAH outputs for a few days before this catastrophic device arrest. Both patients died; one suddenly and one during a protracted period, as a result of catheter entrapment of the disc of the Medtronic Hall right ventricular inflow valve.
From the *Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Arizona, Arizona; †Artificial Heart and Heart Transplantation, University Medical Center; and ‡Division of Cardiology, University of Arizona, Arizona.
Submitted for consideration April 2010; accepted for publication in revised form May 2010.
Zimmerman and Cohelo-Anderson declare no conflict of interest; Slepian: Chairman of the Board and stockholder Syncardia Systems manufacturer of CardioWest TAH; Smith: Advisor and stockholder SynCardia Systems, Inc.; and Copeland: stockholder SynCardia Systems, Inc.
Reprint Requests: Jack G. Copeland, MD, 1501 N Campbell Ave, Tucson, AZ 85724. Email: email@example.com.