A Medical Device Daily

Marvin Slepian, MD, chairman and co-founder of SynCardia Systems (Tucson, Arizona), manufacturer of the CardioWest temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t), presented a prototype of a smaller TAH-t designed for use in women at the 3rd Annual American Heart Association (AHA; Chicago) Go Red For Women event yesterday at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa (Phoenix).

Slepian, the keynote speaker, presented the smaller 50 cc TAH-t, designed for use in women, adolescents and smaller adults. SynCardia's 70 cc CardioWest TAH-t, in use since the 1980s, fits a majority of adult men and many women.

The company said it plans to have the 50 cc TAH-t in development by 2009.

According to the AHA, cardiovascular disease kills more than 480,000 women a year, nearly one per minute, but 64% of women who experience sudden death from heart disease have no previous symptoms.

The TAH-t, used as a bridge to heart transplant, is the only FDA- and CE mark-approved temporary TAH.

The company says that heart transplant-eligible patients near death from end-stage biventricular heart failure increase their odds of living another year from 31% to 70% when they bridged to transplant with the CardioWest TAH-t, based on a comparison with control patients matched to the patients receiving the artificial heart.