Treatment Strategies and Outcomes of Right Ventricular Failure Post Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation: An INTERMACS Analysis

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ASAIO journal


Right heart failure (RHF) management after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation includes inotropes, right ventricular mechanical support, and heart transplantation. The purpose of this study is to compare different RHF treatment strategies in patients with a magnetically levitated centrifugal LVAD. A total of 6,632 Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) patients from 2013 to 2020 were included. Of which, 769 (69.6%) patients (group 1) were supported with inotropes (≥14 days post-LVAD implantation), 233 (21.1%) patients (group 2) were supported with temporary right ventricular assist device (RVAD) that was implanted during LVAD implant, 77 (7.0%) patients (group 3) with durable centrifugal RVAD implanted during the LVAD implant, and 26 (2.4%) patients (group 4) were supported with RVAD (temporary or permanent), which was implanted at a later stage. Groups 1 and 4 had higher survival rates in comparison with group 2 (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.513, 95% confidence intervals [CIs] = 0.402-0.655, p < 0.001, versus group 1) and group 3 (HR = 0.461, 95% CIs = 0.320-0.666, p < 0.001, versus group 1). Patients in group 3 showed higher heart transplantation rates at 12 and 36 months as compared with group 1 (40.4% and 46.6% vs. 21.9% and 37.4%, respectively), group 2 (40.4% and 46.6% vs. 25.8% and 39.3%, respectively), and group 4 (40.4% and 46.6% vs. 3.8% and 12.0%, respectively). Severe RHF post-LVAD is associated with poor survival. Patients with LVAD who during the perioperative period are in need of right ventricular temporary or durable mechanical circulatory support constitute a group at particular risk. Improvement of devices tailored for right ventricular support is mandatory for further evolution of the field.

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ePub ahead of print