Long-term survival on LVAD support: Device complications and end-organ dysfunction limit long-term success

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The Journal of heart and lung transplantation


BACKGROUND: Preoperative variables can predict short term left ventricular assist device (LVAD) survival, but predictors of extended survival remain insufficiently characterized.

METHOD: Patients undergoing LVAD implant (2012-2018) in the Intermacs registry were grouped according to time on support: short-term (<1 >year, n = 7,483), mid-term (MT, 1-3 years, n = 5,976) and long-term (LT, ≥3 years, n = 3,015). Landmarked hazard analyses (adjusted hazard ratio, HR) were performed to identify correlates of survival after 1 and 3 years of support.

RESULTS: After surviving 1 year of support, additional LVAD survival was less likely in older (HR 1.15 per decade), Caucasian (HR 1.22) and unmarried (HR 1.16) patients (p < 0.05). After 3 years of support, only 3 preoperative characteristics (age, race, and history of bypass surgery, p < 0.05) correlated with extended survival. Postoperative events most negatively influenced achieving LT survival. In those alive at 1 year or 3 years, the occurrence of postoperative renal (creatinine HR MT = 1.09; LT HR = 1.10 per mg/dl) and hepatic dysfunction (AST HR MT = 1.29; LT HR = 1.34 per 100 IU), stroke (MT HR = 1.24; LT HR = 1.42), infection (MT HR = 1.13; LT HR = 1.10), and/or device malfunction (MT HR = 1.22; LT HR = 1.46) reduced extended survival (all p ≤ 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Success with LVAD therapy hinges on achieving long term survival in more recipients. After 1 year, extended survival is heavily constrained by the occurrence of adverse events and postoperative end-organ dysfunction. The growth of destination therapy intent mandates that future LVAD studies be designed with follow up sufficient for capturing outcomes beyond 24 months.

Medical Subject Headings

Equipment Failure; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Heart Failure; Heart-Assist Devices; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Multiple Organ Failure; Registries; Retrospective Studies; Survival Rate; Time Factors; United States

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