Bridge to recovery
Due to the shortage of donor organs available for heart transplantation, alternatives to transplantation are being sought. The commonest indication for left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) is as a bridge to transplantation. It was noticed in a small proportion of patients treated with LVADs that there was good recovery of function of the native left ventricle. This led to further investigation into ways of maximising left ventricular recovery to allow explantation of the device using a combination of pharmacotherapy and left ventricular unloading with the LVAD. This technique is known as bridge to recovery. Research in this field is active and ongoing.