Background

Background

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are attributed as the leading cause of death throughout the developed world and heart failure (HF) is the fastest growing CVD globally. HF affects more than 11 million people in Europe and the USA, and more than 300,000 Australians. The prevalence of HF is only set to increase as the population ages. Treatment options for HF include lifestyle changes and drug therapy, while the gold standard treatment is still a heart transplant. However, only 4500 heart transplantations are performed across the globe each year. Thus, the use of mechanical circulatory support (MCS) in the management of acute and chronic HF is continuously expanding. Mechanical circulatory support comprises left and right ventricular assist devices (LVAD, RVAD) and total artificial hearts (TAHs). More than 20,000 VADs and TAHs have been implanted worldwide by 2016. Whilst the US National Institutes of Health estimates 50,000-100,000 patients in the USA could immediately benefit from a VAD or TAH. There is a clear need for improved collaborative research within the field of MCS.