Use of bivalirudin as a primary anticoagulant in a child during Berlin Heart EXCOR ventricular assist device support

Shivanand S. Medar, Daphne T. Hsu, Jacqueline M. Lamour, Neha Bansal, Giles J. Peek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We describe our experience of bivalirudin use, a newer direct thrombin inhibitor, in an infant who was supported with Berlin Heart EXCOR VAD (Berlin VAD) as bridge to transplant for 122 days without complications and without need for pump exchange. An 11-month-old girl with dilated cardiomyopathy with acute heart failure was awaiting cardiac transplant. Lack of improvement despite maximizing medical therapy and anticipating a prolonged waitlist time, she was supported with Berlin LVAD as a bridge to transplant. Anticoagulation with bivalirudin was started and titrated with a goal partial thromboplastin time of 60-90 seconds. Therapeutic anticoagulation was achieved with bivalirudin for 50% of the days (61/122 days) on a dose of 2.1 mg/kg/hour and in a narrow dose range of 1.9 to 2.3 mg/kg/hour for 80% of the days (98/122 days). Antiplatelet regimen was started initially with aspirin and clopidogrel added later. She was supported for 122 days on a single pump without any evidence of thrombus or need for pump change. Berlin VAD explant and orthotopic heart transplant with biatrial anastomosis were performed uneventfully. Explanted Berlin VAD had no evidence of clot/fibrin or thrombus formation. The child was discharged to home uneventfully 15 days after cardiac transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-176
Number of pages5
JournalPerfusion (United Kingdom)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Berlin Heart
  • anticoagulation
  • bivalirudin
  • children
  • heart failure
  • pediatrics
  • ventricular assist device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Safety Research
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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