TUCSON, Ariz. – Nov. 10, 2011 – In the November issue of The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation (JHLT), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical Center in Richmond published the first findings demonstrating that physical exercise and measurable rehabilitation are feasible with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. Read article

The single-center, retrospective study measured blood pressure (BP) response during exercise, exercise duration and change in tolerated exercise workload over an 8-week period. The study included 37 patients implanted with SynCardias Total Artificial Heart (TAH) and 12 patients implanted with the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device (LVAD).

Total Artificial Heart patients began physical rehabilitation at a median of 5 days and treadmill exercise a median of 19 days after implant, with increased exercise intensity and duration over time. Mean arterial BP did not change with exercise in patients with the Total Artificial Heart but did increase in those with an LVAD.

"During circulatory support with a TAH, the BP response to exercise was blunted," the studys authors concluded. "However, aerobic exercise training early after device implantation was found to be safe and feasible in a supervised setting."

Patients who participated in physical therapy early tended to have shorter waiting periods for heart transplantation (60 days vs. 89 days) and significantly higher survival rates to transplantation (100% vs. 70%). At the time of analysis, four of the 30 Total Artificial Heart patients for whom physical rehabilitation data was available were still on device support, while 88% (23/26) of the remaining Total Artificial Heart patients had been transplanted..

About the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart

SynCardia Systems, Inc. (Tucson, AZ) is the privately-held manufacturer of the worlds first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart. Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, SynCardias Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people dying from end-stage biventricular heart failure. There have been more than 950 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 230 patient years of life.

Similar to a heart transplant, SynCardia's Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves, eliminating the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure. Unlike a donor heart, the Total Artificial Heart is immediately available at SynCardia Certified Centers and does not require expensive anti-rejection medication, which can cause subsequent complications. It is the only device that provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute through both ventricles. This high volume of safe blood flow helps speed the recovery of vital organs, helping make the patient a better transplant candidate.

SynCardia Ranked #20 Among Worlds 50 Most Innovative Companies

In March 2011, Fast Company magazine ranked SynCardia #20 in its annual list of the worlds 50 Most Innovative Companies for "giving mobility to artificial heart recipients." Weighing 13.5 lbs, SynCardias Freedom® portable driver is the worlds first wearable driver designed to power the Total Artificial Heart both inside and outside the hospital. The Freedom driver is CE approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) clinical study in the U.S.