Many of the basic concepts regarding heart failure treatment were developed at the University of Minnesota, and the efforts of our research and treatment teams encourage ongoing progress.
Medical treatment for heart failure has improved substantially in the past 20 years. Because of our research and education missions, the University of Minnesota has frequent access to newer and highly innovative therapies.
With more than 100 years of collective experience in research and treatment, our heart failure specialists rank among the best experts for managing patients with systolic left ventricular failure.
Mechanical Circulatory-Assist Devices
(Also Known as Ventricular Assist Devices)
The University of Minnesota Medical Center cardiovascular surgeons were among the first in the United States to implant ventricular assist devices (VADs) in patients. Today we have one of the busiest and most successful VAD programs in the world, implanting 60-80 devices per year and training staff at other medical centers across the country as they develop their own VAD programs. Our substantial experience saves and improves many lives.
The University of Minnesota is a leader in studying factors that optimize VAD implant timing and predict post-implant outcomes. We have led and participated in several landmark clinical studies demonstrating the benefits of VAD therapy, including REMATCH (2001), the HeartMate II™ bridge-to-transplant study, and the recently published HeartMate II™ destination-therapy trial (2009).
For patients with advanced heart failure, heart transplantation at the University of Minnesota has been a highly successful program since the 1980s. Mature and dynamic, our transplant program works in coordination with our VAD program.
Some patients who are considered high risk and not approved for transplant at other centers receive new hearts at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Even including these patients, our heart transplant survival rates (95% one year survival) exceed national averages and are among the best in the world.
The University of Minnesota Medical Center performed its 700th heart transplant in February 2010. We perform the most heart transplants in Minnesota.
Since the 1980s, the University of Minnesota Medical Center has had extensive experience treating patients with pulmonary hypertension. Patients in our program have access to the latest therapies, which often include vasodilator medications administered orally or intravenously.