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Transplant :: INTERMACS group reveals recent successes to international transplant community

INTERMACS, the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support, and its role in facilitating ongoing development of ventricular assistive devices (VAD) will be the subject of presentations and discussion during the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) 27th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions this week.

INTERMACS, a registry contracted and funded through the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is a U.S. effort to develop the most complete database featuring information pertaining to VAD transplantation with great promise to benefit the heart failure and transplant community. Membership in INTERMACS requires hospitals to provide information regarding each VAD and recipient, which INTERMACS then processes and analyzes to help develop advanced medical devices, eliminate adverse effects, and decipher characteristics for a successful transplant.

Discussions at this week?s ISHLT meeting will highlight collaboration between INTERMACS and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on an effort to obtain more robust data for the registry. In March 2007, CMS announced support for the INTERMACS initiative to attain a national inventory of VAD and recipient information by issuing a statement requiring all U.S. hospitals to participate in the INTERMACS registry in order to receive reimbursements for devices intended for destination therapy. Since that time, hospitals from around the U.S. are joining INTERMACS, allowing INTERMACS to obtain nearly 80 percent of all U.S. VAD and recipient information.

“Our agreement with CMS was a major milestone and opens a gateway for new discoveries and a comprehensive registry, to ensure that we can continue to have competent devices on the market as an alternate option to live organs,” said James Kirklin, M.D., Professor and Director, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and board member of INTERMACS. “With this new order in place, the transplant community can look forward to having nearly 100 percent of all data from the United States, as well as international data, available in the INTERMACS database.”

During the ISHLT opening plenary session, Dr. Kirklin will provide a report to an international audience of ongoing goals, initiatives and various uses of INTERMACS, including the diverse functionality of a VAD as a long-term therapy, a bridge to transplantation, or a bridging therapy to myocardial recovery. Recent successes within the United States will be used as examples of the potential for creating an international database in an effort to have the most all-inclusive global database available.

“By demonstrating the potential benefit of this registry, we hope to motivate the international transplant community to assist with the development of a comprehensive international database in order to facilitate the availability of newer, more effective devices to patients with end-stage heart failure around the word.” continued Dr. Kirklin.

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