NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center Participates in National Clinical Trial for Heart Pump Device

Hospital celebrates 25 years of innovation in use of mechanical support devices for cardiac care

Jan 8, 2015


NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center is one of a select group of medical centers participating in a clinical trial of a new device for advanced heart failure patients, the Thoratec® HeartMate III Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS). The device is designed to supplement the heart’s pumping function in patients with left-sided heart failure.

Some five million people in the U.S. are afflicted with congestive heart failure. About 50 percent of people who develop heart failure die within 5 years of diagnosis.

Doctors at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia are evaluating the performance and safety of the HeartMate III in subjects with advanced heart failure. They will help determine the device’s efficacy as a long-term support option for patients who are not candidates for heart transplantation and as a short-term support option for patients awaiting a heart transplant. If successful, the device will improve heart function, blood flow and quality of life for these patients.

This trial marks 25 years of pioneering work in the field of ventricular support and heart failure management at NewYork-Presbyterian. The hospital has played an integral role in the development of many groundbreaking devices and procedures, including the FDA approval of the HeartMate® II LVAS, the predecessor to the HeartMate III.

“NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia has been a leader in using new technology to help patients with heart conditions for 25 years,” said Dr. Yoshifumi Naka, director of cardiac transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center and professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “I’m proud to be part of a team that has contributed to so many advances that have helped save countless lives.”

Sometimes called a “heart pump” or “LVAD,” the HeartMate III is designed to take over the pumping ability of the weakened heart's left ventricle, which pumps oxygen-rich blood from the lungs throughout the body.

The device is implanted above the diaphragm, immediately next to the heart, and attached to the aorta. A centrifugal blood pump is implanted directly onto the patient's heart, leaving natural circulation in place. In addition, the patient wears an external, wearable controller and battery system to power the pump.

The device offers a number of improvements over its predecessors, including smaller size and a design that mimics the natural pulse rate. The device is fully magnetically levitated, so the parts “float” rather than rub together, which should make it more durable.

“Congestive heart failure is a growing problem, with more than 400,000 to 700,000 new cases occurring each year,” said Dr. Naka. “We are hopeful that the next generation of devices will provide better outcomes for our patients with advanced heart failure.”

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and its academic partner, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, research, education and community service. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division, NewYork-Presbyterian/The Allen Hospital and NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital. The hospital is also closely affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville. NewYork-Presbyterian is the #1 hospital in the New York metropolitan area, according to U.S. News & World Report, and consistently named to the magazine’s Honor Roll of best hospitals in the nation. For more information, visit

Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in basic, preclinical, and clinical research; medical and health sciences education; and patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, public health professionals, dentists, and nurses at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center is home to the largest medical research enterprise in New York City and State and one of the largest faculty medical practices in the Northeast. For more information, visit or

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