A prospective study has been carried out to evaluate the cost and cost effectiveness of the mechanical bridge (MB) or pharmacologic bridge (PB) to transplantation (HTx) in patients referred in cardiogenic shock (CS), who are candidates for Htx unresponsive to sympathomimelics. Selection between MB and PB was based on immediate efficacy of i.v. enoximone (2 mg/kg/BW) therapy. From 1986 to 1989, 37 patients who should have been immediately treated by MB entered the protocol. Six were unresponsive and rapidly received a Jarvik heart or left ventricular bypass (MB). Thirty-one improved (PB), with the need for HTx reconfirmed in 22 and performed in 14. Survival of the entire group was 70% and 51% at 1 and 3 months, respectively. Cost per patient was $45,843 ranging from 38,326 in PB patients to $84,683 in MB patients. Cost per patient transplanted after PB was $50,745. Cost per survivor at 1 year was $210,000 for all, ranging from $254,000 in MB to $192,455 in PB. Cost per added day of survival was higher in MB (+ 228%) at 1 month compared to PB. The difference was reduced at 1 year.
©1991 American Society of Artificial Internal Organs