Ventricular assist devices are an important component in the arsenal of therapies to support the failing heart. This article provides an update on the variety of pulsatile, centrifugal, and axial-flow devices available in the United States. Common indications such as Bridge to Recovery and Bridge to Transplant are explored, as are the emerging indications Destination Therapy, Bridge to Decision, and Bridge to Bridge. Ventricular assist devices as support during high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention and the devices that can be rapidly deployed for this support are included. Clinical aspects of patient care including common complications, psychosocial concerns, and ethical considerations are reviewed.

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