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The World's Smallest Maglev Artificial Heart was Implanted into Patient with Terminal Heart Disease in Wuhan Union Hospital

Time:Apr 2, 2022

An ultra-small, maglev centrifugal artificial heart was transplanted into a 58-year-old patient with terminal heart disease by a team of multi-disciplinary experts led by Prof. Dong Nianguo from Cardiovascular Surgery Dept., in Wuhan Union Hospital, marking the 12th case of artificial heart implantation conducted by our hospital.

The maglev artificial heart, or Corheart 6 left ventricular assist device (LVAD), is independently developed by China. It is the smallest and lightest one among all maglev centrifugal artificial hearts in the world that are reported so far with a diameter of 34 millimeters, a thickness of 26 millimeters and a weight of 90 grams, looking like an egg in size.

Prof. Dong Nianguo (right) conducting the surgery with the team 

Mr. Chu (pseudonym) was diagnosed with ischemic cardiomyopathy and medications didn’t work well on him. With his heart function gradually worsened, Mr. Chu was at the most risk. Accordingly, doctors suggested that a heart transplantation surgery should be conducted for him. There could be, however, a long wait before a matching donor’s heart become available. After consultations of experts from the Cardiology Hospital of Union Hospital, a mitral valvuloplasty together with implantation of ventricular assist device was suggested to be carried out for him. Mr. Chu agreed with experts’ suggestions after fully learning about his illness.  

Position of the Artificial Heart

Before the surgery, experts from the Cardiology Hospital of Union Hospital designed a specific surgery plan for the patient. The Cardiology Hospital consists of three major departments, namely, Cardiovascular Surgery Dept., Cardiology Dept. and Ultrasonography Dept..

Group of Experts: Prof. Cheng Xiang, Director of Cardiology Dept. (left), Prof. Dong Nianguo, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery Dept. (middle), and Prof. Xie Mingxing, Director of Ultrasonography Dept.(right) 

On March 14, Prof. Dong Nianguo, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery Dept., together with Prof. Zhou Cheng, Deputy Director of the department, led the team to start the operation. During the operation, experts from Ultrasonography Dept. evaluated and approved of the operation of the artificial heart. After the operation, the patient’s vital signs stabilized and was moved back to ICU, marking a success of the operation. 22 hours after the surgery, with trachea cannula removed, Mr. Chu was able to take in liquid food. Now Mr. Chu, with stable vital signs, can walk on his own and is healing well.


Prof. Xie Mingxing, Director of Ultrasonography Dept., in the middle of ultrasonographic examination 

“Unlike heart transplantation, an artificial heart is an assistive device that functions as an ‘engine’ together with the diseased heart, maintaining the normal operation of the human body”, said Prof. Dong Nianguo, Director of Cardiovascular Surgery Dept., Union Hospital.

Corheart6 Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS)


Edit by: International Exchange Office