When is the right time for a heart pump?

REVIVE-IT heart failure study examines earlier LVAD use

Keith Aaronson, M.D., Francis Pagani, M.D., Ph.D., and Todd Koelling, M.D., lead study examining earlier lvad use.

Keith Aaronson, M.D., Francis Pagani, M.D., Ph.D., and Todd Koelling, M.D., treat advanced heart failure patients.

There are over 6 million people with heart failure in the United States. Other than delivering a baby, it’s the leading reason for an adult to be hospitalized in the United States. And for those age 65 and over, it’s the main reason to be hospitalized.

Some patients with very advanced heart failure won’t survive without a heart transplant or other options such as a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). 

The question is what to do with patients who have advanced heart failure that impairs their daily life, such as getting out of breath walking a block or up a flight of stairs, but are not quite as bad as patients who are now eligible for transplant or put on a permanent LVAD heart pump.

The REVIVE-IT clinical trial will test the theory that patients like these will live longer and better with earlier implantation of a left ventricular assist device rather than treating them with medicine alone and waiting for very advanced stages of heart failure to develop.


Enrollment begins across the U.S.

12106571_ReviveIt_Flier_Patients_d2b12106571_ReviveIt_Flier_Patients_d2bWorking with 16 hospitals across the country, patients age 21 and older can enroll if they have:

  • Advanced heart failure as characterized by New York Heart Association Class III Symptoms
  • Reduced heart function with an left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less
  • Chronic and well-established heart failure for at least one year

Heart transplantation is an enormous success for cardiovascular medicine in the last 30 years. However with 2,200 donor hearts available to transplant in the U.S. each year, transplantation can help very few of the millions with heart failure.

“We can’t make hearts – not yet anyway. But we can make pumps, and we can make as many as we need,” says cardiologist Keith Aaronson, M.D. “This study will go a long way toward helping us figure out how best to use them.”

Take the next step:

Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center is home to one of the world’s largest and most experienced LVAD programs. Clinicians and researchers at the University of Michigan Heart Transplant Program and Center for Circulatory Support have provided leadership in the clinical investigation of most of the implantable circulatory support devices in use today.