Sen. Orrin Hatch and three other senators Wednesday pressed Dr. Claude Lenfant, director of the National Institute of Heart Lung and Blood Research, to restore funding for artificial-heart research. Lenfant announced last month the halt to spending on the program because of its unlikelihood of succeeding.

Hatch, Sen. John Heinz R-Pa., Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio, and Sen. Robert Stafford, R-Vt., urged Lenfant to change his mind.Hatch said after the meeting he is not optimistic that Lenfant will reconsider his decision about artificial heart work, but he said Lenfant did agree to re-examine the funding cutoff if the National Institutes of Health gets more funding this year than the administration requested.

A Hatch aide said it is possible the Institutes of Health could get enough extra money to allocate $4 million to continue the artificial heart work at the University of Utah over Lenfant's objections.