Abbott launches HeartMate 3 for advanced heart failure patients

por John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | August 30, 2017
Cardiology Heart Disease
Full Maglev HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular
Assist System
Abbott has launched its Full Maglev HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist System in the U.S. for helping physicians manage patients with advanced heart failure, following FDA approval.

The pump will allow doctors to better assist patients who require short-term and hemodynamic support, such as in the form of transplants and myocardial recovery, and offers advanced features in the use of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy.

“HeartMate 3 is the first commercially-approved implantable continuous flow LVAD to use Full MagLev (fully magnetically-levitated) Flow technology, which allows the device's rotor to be "suspended" by magnetic forces—rather than bearings—with the goal of being able to more gently pass the blood cells through the pump,” Kevin Bourque, divisional vice president of research and development for Abbott's Mechanical Circulatory Support portfolio, told HCB News. “The magnets keep the rotor in place by calibrating tens of thousands of times per second to ensure it stays suspended and centered within the pump, no matter the speed settings used by a physician. This ensures the pump is performing effectively while continuing to deliver the best patient therapy possible.”

The system is smaller than Abbott's HeartMate II, the most widely used LVAD in the world and the only pump on the market for people who are in need of long-term care but do not require a heart transplant. HeartMate 3 is designed specifically for short-term care and hemocompatability purposes and attaches to the patient's heart directly.

It uses Full Maglev technology to increase blood flow and is equipped with the widest pump pathway so that blood cells can flow through without being damaged. There is also a reduced risk of blood clot formation due to the system’s programmable “pulse” which prevents blood flow from becoming static.

Abbott is confident that with more research and increased awareness, HeartMate 3 could eventually become a standard option for supporting patients with advanced heart failure.

“There are thousands of advanced heart failure patients who would benefit from at least being made aware of the technology and that it could be an option for them,” said Bourque. “As the pioneers in LVAD therapy, we know what a long road it has been to get to this point, and we have made a lot of progress, but we still have work to do on building awareness around LVAD therapy.”

The system was approved for use in Europe in October 2015. It is currently under clinical study for its use in long-term care support.

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