A new study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR) has found that total artificial heart implantation (TAH) can provide effective treatment for patients with end-stage biventricular heart failure. Medical imaging can help identify potential candidates and detect postimplant complications.

“Seventy-nine percent of the TAH recipients survived to human heart transplant, as opposed to only 46% of their counterparts,” the article stated. “Advanced heart failure… is associated with a 1-year mortality rate of 60% to 94% when treated solely with medical therapy.”

Unlike those patients with left ventricular assist devices—for whom dangers include right-heart failure, valvular regurgitation, valvular stenosis, and dysrhythmias—the most common adverse outcome following TAH implants are infections, which both radiography and CT can uncover.

“As the clinical use of the TAH increases and becomes more commonplace, it is imperative that radiologists interpreting imaging studies recognize both the expected and the unexpected imaging findings that affect patient care,” the authors concluded.

The full article can be downloaded on the AJR website.