The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences


The human heart is one of the most vital organs in the body. It distributes blood throughout the body, providing the body with oxygen and nutrition, and contributes to metabolism. When the heart fails, blood flow is impaired, thereby limiting the exchange of oxygen within the cardiopulmonary system as well as diminishing oxygenation and nutrition to the other major organs and periphery. The only current proven treatment for advanced heart failure is cardiac transplant. Given the heart’s importance and the scarcity of donated organs, modern medicine has experimented with the creation of an artificial heart. Because the heart is primarily a pump controlled via electrical impulses, it lends itself to artificial replication, and advancements in modern engineering and medicine have turned this theory into reality. Currently, there are mechanical devices which can act as a bridge to transplant and, in many cases, improve the quality of life of their recipients. Due to a scarcity of available donor hearts as well as the high cost and complications associated with conventional heart transplants, it is imperative to do an analysis as to whether left ventricle assist devices or the total artificial heart are viable alternatives to conventional cardiac transplants. If the artificial devices can be as productive as a transplanted heart without any overt risk, they greatly expand and improve the prognosis of patients in end stage of heart failure. This paper will weigh the benefits of artificial devices as viable alternatives for the conventional heart transplant within the different aspects of treatment for end stage heart failure.