Clinical pharmacology considerations for children supported with ventricular assist devices.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

The ventricular assist device is being increasingly used as a "bridge-to-transplant" option in children with heart failure who have failed medical management. Care for this medically complex population must be optimised, including through concomitant pharmacotherapy. Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic alterations affecting pharmacotherapy are increasingly discovered in children supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, another form of mechanical circulatory support. Similarities between extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and ventricular assist devices support the hypothesis that similar alterations may exist in ventricular assist device-supported patients. We conducted a literature review to assess the current data available on pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics in children with ventricular assist devices. We found two adult and no paediatric pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic studies in ventricular assist device-supported patients. While mechanisms may be partially extrapolated from children supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, dedicated investigation of the paediatric ventricular assist device population is crucial given the inherent differences between the two forms of mechanical circulatory support, and pathophysiology that is unique to these patients. Commonly used drugs such as anticoagulants and antibiotics have narrow therapeutic windows with devastating consequences if under-dosed or over-dosed. Clinical studies are urgently needed to improve outcomes and maximise the potential of ventricular assist devices in this vulnerable population.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sherwin, J; Thompson, E; Hill, KD; Watt, K; Lodge, AJ; Gonzalez, D; Hornik, CP

Published Date

  • September 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1082 - 1090

PubMed ID

  • 29991374

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6299825

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1467-1107

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1017/S1047951118001075


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England