Bridge to removal: a paradigm shift for left ventricular assist device therapy.
Ventricular assist devices have become standard therapy for patients with advanced heart failure either as a bridge to transplantation or destination therapy. Despite the functional and biologic evidence of reverse cardiac remodeling, few patients actually proceed to myocardial recovery, and even fewer to the point of having their device explanted. An enhanced understanding of the biology and care of the mechanically supported patient has redirected focus on the possibility of using ventricular assist devices as a bridge to myocardial recovery and removal. Herein, we review the current issues and approaches to transforming myocardial recovery to a practical reality.