Results with an anticoagulation protocol in 99 syncardia total artificial heart recipients

Jack Copeland, Hannah Copeland, Paul Nolan, Monica Gustafson, Marvin Slepian, Richard Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


For 15 years, we employed a consistent anticoagulation protocol in 99 consecutive SynCardia Systems total artificial heart (TAH) recipients. Thromboelastography and platelet aggregation studies were used for evaluating and modulating therapy with dipyridamole, pentoxiphylline, aspirin, and heparin. Partial thromboplastin times, international normalized ratios, and platelet counts were also followed. After the second post-implant day in patients who were free of endo-device infection (97 patients), the embolic stroke incidence was 0.08 per patient year. This included 23.6 patient years of device support. There were no spontaneous hemorrhagic strokes. Two patients had endo-device infections and both had strokes. Postimplantation bleeding was seen in 20% of patients. All but two of these were within the first postoperative week. In all, 4% of patients had gastrointestinal bleeding. We did not observe heparin-induced thrombocytopenia in any patient. We conclude that stroke rates on TAH support have been low, and recommend this protocol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-220
Number of pages5
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2013


  • anticoagulation protocol
  • clinical outcomes
  • total artificial heart

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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