Does Size Matter for Female Continuous-flow LVAD Recipients? A Translational Approach to a Decade Long Question

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ASAIO journal


Females have increased risk of right-ventricular failure (RVF) and 3 month mortality after left-ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. In this translational study, we tested the hypothesis that sex differences in outcomes are driven by pump-induced LV size-volume mismatch, due to a negative impact on interventricular septal (IVS) interdependence. Adult continuous-flow LVAD recipients from the International Society For Heart And Lung Transplantation Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support registry (n = 15,498) were studied to determine association of female sex with outcomes of 3 month mortality and RVF. Female sex was associated with smaller preimplant left-ventricular end-diastolic diameter (6.5 vs. 6.9 cm, p < 0.001), increased 3 month mortality (odds ratio [OR]: 1.42, p < 0.001) and RVF (OR: 1.18, p = 0.005). Smaller left-ventricular end-diastolic diameter was associated with worse outcomes after LVAD implantation (OR for mortality: 1.20, p < 0.001; RVF: 1.09, p < 0.001), and attenuated the association of female sex with these outcomes. In test bench heart phantoms (n = 4), the IVSs of smaller hearts demonstrated abnormal leftward shift earlier than larger hearts (volume change at IVS shift: 40 [95% confidence interval: 30-52] vs. 50 [95% confidence interval: 48-69] ml). Smaller LV size partially mediates worse post-LVAD outcomes for female patients, due to lower volume thresholds for adverse IVS shifting.

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ePub ahead of print