December 29, 2017
4 min read

STS News, Winter 2018 -- The STS National Database now has a fourth component. The Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support, or Intermacs, became part of the STS National Database on January 1, 2018, joining the Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, the Congenital Heart Surgery Database, and the General Thoracic Surgery Database.

Established at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2005 as a joint effort of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and others, Intermacs is a North American registry for patients who receive an FDA-approved mechanical circulatory support (MCS) device to treat advanced heart failure. Participation in Intermacs is required by the Joint Commission for all US centers implanting MCS devices for destination therapy.

“We are very excited about this new chapter for Intermacs and STS. We believe Intermacs will continue to advance through the recognition of the STS National Database in the arenas of quality and improvement methodologies and National Quality Forum metrics, as well as our understanding of treatments,” said STS President Richard L. Prager, MD. “By including Intermacs as a component of the STS National Database, the Society will expand the scope of its registry activity, while providing Intermacs with a foundation for its future.”

Smooth Transition for Participants

The Society is taking a number of steps to help ensure that current Intermacs participants experience a smooth transition. Participants will submit data in the same manner as they have in the past, and UAB will continue serving as the registry’s data warehouse and analytics center.

Although current Intermacs participants are now entering into new participation agreements with STS, the documents are familiar to them; they are modeled after those currently provided for STS National Database participants.

Another way the Society is helping to provide a seamless transition is through a new STS Intermacs Database Task Force, chaired by Robert L. Kormos, MD. He has been an Intermacs co-investigator since 2005 and is very familiar with the registry. 

With nearly 30 years of experience and a designation as a Qualified Clinical Data Registry, the STS National Database offers Intermacs an opportunity to become an even more valuable resource for participants, their institutions, and ultimately, their patients. “We will use the STS experience to help grow Intermacs into a resource for quality measurement and patient safety,” said Dr. Kormos.

“By including Intermacs as a component of the STS National Database, the Society will expand the scope of its registry activity, while providing Intermacs with a foundation for its future.”

Richard L. Prager, MD

STS Intermacs Database Task Force members were chosen to represent the multidisciplinary nature of MCS teams. “This Task Force is uniquely designed—some of its members are cardiologists,” Dr. Kormos said. “A lot of the data that are collected within Intermacs come from work performed by cardiologists. So we’ve made sure to incorporate leadership from all areas.”

Among other responsibilities, the Task Force will help define how Intermacs stakeholders can best benefit from the available data. The process for reviewing and approving data licensing requests is under development; details will be communicated to participating institutions and industry when available.

The addition of the Intermacs registry represents a new chapter in the history of the STS National Database in light of the registry’s collection of longitudinal data. Intermacs collects longitudinal data throughout the life of a patient with an MCS device; the other components of the STS National Database track patients only for 30 days postoperatively.

“The Intermacs metrics for long-term follow-up are very good. Adverse events, quality of life variables, device malfunctions, and several other data points are tracked, along with risk modeling for survival,” Dr. Kormos said.

The Society will be communicating with participants, researchers, government, industry, and other stakeholders in the weeks and months ahead about this new chapter for Intermacs. Additional information can be found at

“Everyone is very excited, and we look forward to being able to take Intermacs to the next level,” Dr. Kormos said.