Ventricular Assist Device Program | Research & Innovation

Mechanical circulatory support with VADs

Boston Children’s physicians and nurses have played a leading role in the research and regulatory issues surrounding pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) use in the United States. These devices give blood circulation a boost and can serve as a life-saving bridge to transplant. Boston Children’s cardiologists were integral in designing and conducting the multi-institutional study of the Berlin Heart®, which gained FDA approval for use in children in 2011. Boston Children’s continues to expand the field of VAD support in children by introducing new devices such as the HeartWare® HVAD, which allows children to be discharged home and to resume normal activities.

A pediatric ventricular assist device

A Boston Children’s patient was the first child in North America to go back to school with a VAD as she waited for a heart transplant. And in the fall of 2014, one of our patients became the first person to attend college while living on campus with a VAD.

Recent publications

  1. VanderPluym C, Fynn-Thompson F, Blume ED. Ventricular Assist Devices in Children: Progress with an Orphan Device Application. Circulation. 2014 Apr 8;129(14):1530-7.
  2. VanderPluym C, Schweiger M, Jeewa A, Canter CE, Jansz P, Parrino PE, Miera O, Schmitto J, Mehegan M, Adachi I, Hubler M, Zimpfer D. Outpatient Management of intra-corporeal Left Ventricular Assist Device System in Children: A Multi-center Experience. Amm J Transplant. 2015 Feb; 15 (2): 453-60
  3. Murray JM, Hellinger A, Dionne R, Brown L, Galvin R, Griggs S, Mittler K, Harney K, Manzi S, VanderPluym C, Baker A, O'Brien P, O'Connell C, Almond CS. Utility of a Dedicated Pediatric Cardiac Anticoagulation Program: The Boston Children's Hospital Experience. Pediatr Cardiol. 2015 Jan 9.
  4. Poster presentation: “Somatic Gowth in Children with Ventricular Assist Device Support,” International Society for Heart and Lung Transplant Annual Meeting. VanderPluym C, Schmitt K, Hawkins, B Voelkner J, Miera O. 2015 Apr 16.