Anecdotal and clinical evidence suggests that mechanical unloading may restore cardiac function by inducing changes in the biological properties of the failing heart. This challenges the notion that the progression of end-stage heart failure is an irreversible process ending in either death of the patient or transplantation. Although it is still not clear how mechanical unloading of the failing heart improves cardiac function, the process likely involves adaptive responses of cardiac myocytes on the cellular, extracellular, and subcellular levels.

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