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Italian PediaFlow Articles

Posted on Wed, May 5, 2004

Avvenire

May 5

PEDIATRIC ARTIFICIAL HEART: FIRST TESTS IN THE UNITED STATES

A new, tiny artificial heart, fit for children weighing 2.5 –15 kilos, will be experimented in the next five years in the United States, at the University of Pittsburgh. After the trial period, the device will also be available in Italy, at the Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti (ISMETT), in Palermo, which has a partnership with the American university.

The new life-saving device is as small as a 2-euro coin, and it will be experimented in the US thanks to a 4.5 million dollar fund granted by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to the Regenerative Medicine Center of the University of Pittsburgh. The artificial “heart” is actually an artificial ventricle consisting of a miniaturized centrifuge pump and a small tube connected to an external power supply. It will allow a child to wait up to six months for a real heart transplant, without limiting his/her range of movements.

Corriere della Sera

May 5

ARTIFICIAL HEART THE SIZE OF A COIN

The first artificial heart for children is the size of a two-euro coin. It will be experimented in the next five years in the United States, at the University of Pittsburgh. It was developed for children with a weight between 2.5 and 15 kilograms. After the trial period, the device will also be available at the Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti (ISMETT) of Palermo.

Nazione-Carlino-Giorno

May 5

A MICRO-HEART FOR CHILDREN

The artificial heart realized by the School of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Pittsburgh and by the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine is as small as a 2-euro coin. It will allow children awaiting a transplant to live a normal life, despite the small tube of the miniaturized centrifuge pump connected to an external power supply. It should allow them to survive up to six months while awaiting transplantation. The bay heart trial should start in five years [sic] in Pittsburgh first, then in Italy, at the Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti (ISMETT) of Palermo.

Libero Quotidiano

May 5

By Gianluca Grossi

ARTIFICIAL HEART TO BE IMPLANTED IN NEWBORNS

It’s the world’s smallest artificial heart, designed to save the lives of newborns and infants in need of a heart transplant. The experimentation will begin in these days in the United States, at the University of Pittsburgh. Subsequently, the baby heart will be immediately available in Italy as well, at the Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti (ISMETT), in Palermo.

The heart is the size of a 2-euro coin: it’s the world’s smallest ventricle. It will allow avoiding the connection of newborns to the heart-lung device, the traditional system used until today to keep children alive will awaiting transplantation; as an alternative, the US recently approved a 1-hectogram micro-pump capable of meeting the needs of these young patients in the pre-op phase.

Most of all, the baby heart will be useful to newborns affected by cardiac deficits such as cardiomyopathies or congenital cardiopathies (above all, the hypoplastic left heart syndrome): it will allow them to survive for at least six months without any problems, as opposed to the few weeks granted by the devices currently in use, which are already thirty years old. The baby heart is called PVAD (pediatric ventricular assistance device). It consists of a miniaturized centrifuge pump that can be implanted into children weighing between 2.5 and 15 kilograms. It works thanks to a small tube that connects the pump to an external power supply. The American university received 4.5 million dollars from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for the experimentation. The young patients in the world currently awaiting a heart transplant are approximately 500.

Il Mattino

May 5

FIRST ARTIFICIAL HEART FOR YOUNG CARDIOPATHS

It’s as small as a 2-euro coin, but it will be able to save the lives of many children: it’s the artificial heart, which will allow even young cardiac patients awaiting a transplant to live a normal life while a suitable organ becomes available. The prototype, the smallest artificial heart ever designed, was created by the School of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Pittsburgh and by the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. It will be experimented on infants within the next five years, first at the University of Pittsburgh, then in Italy, at the Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti (ISMETT) of Palermo. The device is called PVAD. Despite a small tube connecting the device to an external power supply, the young patients will be able to move freely and live a normal life: an important step forward, considering that in the last 30 years the only hope for children awaiting a transplant was to be connected to an external device preventing any movement.

The baby heart will allow children to wait up to six months for a transplant, as opposed to the traditional device that can be used for a few weeks only, and with a very high mortality rate.

Il Sole 24 Ore

May 5

ARTIFICIAL HEART THE SIZE OF A COIN

The first pediatric artificial heart is as small as a 2-euro coin. The prototype will first be experimented for five years at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; afterwards, it will also become available in Italy. And Palermo will serve as the forerunner thanks to the partnership between the American University and the Istituto Mediterraneo Trapianti. The baby-heart will serve as a bridge therapy for children awaiting a heart transplant, and will be able to work up to six months instead of just a few weeks like the devices available so far. The new artificial heart consists of a miniaturized centrifuge pump with a small tube connected to an external power supply.

Il Tempo

May 5

THE 2-EURO ARTIFICIAL HEART

An artificial heart as small as a 2-euro coin is being experimented at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC); afterwards, it will also become available at the Istituto Mediterraneo per i Trapianti e Terapie ad Alta Specializzazione (ISMETT), in Palermo, thanks to the international partnership between the two institutions. The small artificial heart is actually a “pediatric ventricular assistance device (PVAD) to be grafted in very young children affected by severe cardiac malformations and genetic diseases”. It consists of a miniaturized centrifuge pump using electromagnetic technology, to be used on children weighing between 2.5 and 15 kilograms.

Gazzetta del Sud

May 5

THE FIRST ARTIFICIAL HEART FOR CHILDREN

The experimentation should start in five years.

Even children will be able to hope to live a normal life while awaiting a heart transplant thanks to the world’s smallest artificial heart. It was designed and realized by the School of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Pittsburgh and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

The prototype, as small as a 2-euro coin, is ready and researchers at the American university plan to experiment it within the next five years. After the center in Pittsburgh, the baby heart might be experimented by an Italian facility, thanks to a partnership between UPMC and ISMETT, in Palermo.

This first artificial ventricle is called PVAD and it consists of a miniaturized centrifuge pump that can be implanted into children weighing between 2.5 and 15 kilograms. Despite the small tube that connects the pump to an external power supply, children will be able to move freely and live a normal life. An important step forward considering that in the last 30 years the only hope for children awaiting a transplant was to be connected to an external device preventing any movement. This device, called ECMO (Extra corporeal membrane oxygenation), which can be used on children up to two years of age, has been the only means of support available in the US to date. It’s a very complex device that forces children to remain completely immobile. The baby heart will allow children to wait up to six months for a transplant, as opposed to the traditional device that can be used for a few weeks only, and with a very high mortality rate: less than half of the children subject to this type of treatment have survived.

The device has yet been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. It will be experimented at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine thanks to a 4.5 million dollar grant of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. “We have a very strong need of devices for newborns,” said Harvey Borovetz, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Bioengineering Department. “Our goal is to develop a device capable not only of enabling children to reach transplantation in good health conditions, but also of representing a decisive therapy that may allow the cardiac muscle to recover completely, in order to avoid transplantation.”

Giornale di Sicilia

Palermo edition

May 6

By Gaetano La Mantia

THE FIRST ARTIFICIAL HEART FOR CHILDREN. FROM THE US, NEW PROSPECTS FOR ISMETT

While awaiting the authorization to perform the first heart transplants, ISMETT is already focusing on the future, and particularly on the possibility of implanting an artificial cardiac organ into children.

The opportunity arrives from the United States, namely from the University of Pittsburgh, with which ISMETT has a partnership. The world’s smallest artificial heart was developed by the School of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Pittsburgh and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. The prototype, as small as a 2-euro coin, is ready and researchers at the American university plan to experiment it on children within the next five years. After the center in Pittsburgh, the baby heart could be used by an Italian facility, specifically ISMETT, whose medical director is Bruno Gridelli, thanks to the partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The device is called PVAD and it consists of a miniaturized centrifuge pump that can be implanted into children weighing between 2.5 and 15 kilograms. Despite the small tube that connects the pump to an external power supply, children will be able to move freely and live a normal life. The baby heart will allow children to wait up to six months for a transplant, as opposed to the traditional device that can be used for a few weeks only, and with a very high mortality rate: less than half of the children subject to this type of treatment have survived. The baby heart has yet been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration. It will be experimented at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine thanks to a 4.5 million dollar grant of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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