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Throughout history, the heart has captured the imagination of poets, artists and scientists alike. The highest expression of this reverence is manifested by our desire to replicate this internal metronome, a feat that has been nearly accomplished by the miracles of modern medicine. This book describes in detail the historical evolution, current knowledge, and future trends in the field of mechanical circulatory support. In the last two decades tremendous strides in the field of mechanical support have extended the lives of countless sufferers of congestive heart failure, who total close to 1% of the US population. This technology has saved the lives of patients with acute heart failure due to heart attacks, dilated cardiomyopathies and post-cardiotomy shock and sustained patients with end stage congestive heart failure until a precious donor organ has become available for transplantation. In an attempt to address the growing imbalance between demand and supply of donor hearts, and armed with great hope and excitement, investigators are now examining these devices as potential alternatives to cardiac transplantation.Cardiac Assist Devices is organised into three main sections, encompassing 30 up-to-date chapters written by the leading authorities in the field. Part I presents an overview of the field of mechanical support, with emphasis placed on the perioperative management of patients requiring mechanical support. New and controversial issues like bridging to recovery, economic impact and immunobiology of assist devices are explored. Part II introduces the currently available devices, focusing on the individual characteristics of the most widely used extracorporeal and intracorporeal ventricular assist devices, including detailed illustrations, implantation techniques, device limitations, and results and outcomes. Part III explores the most promising devices and technologies currently undergoing preclinical evaluation, including the developer’s descriptions and availability forecasts. This book will be of greatest interest to cardiologists, circulatory physiologists, cardiac anaesthesiologists, critical care physicians, cardiac surgeons, and other healthcare professionals who are challenged daily with the care of patients with acute and chronic heart failure.