BACKGROUND: Multicenter data on long term survival following LVAD implantation that make use of contemporary definitions of RV failure are limited. Furthermore, traditional survival analyses censor patients who receive a bridge to heart transplant. Here we compare the outcomes of LVAD patients who develop post-operative RV failure accounting for the transitional probability of receiving an interim heart transplantation.METHODS: We use a retrospective cohort of LVAD patients sourced from multiple high-volume centers based in the United States. Five- and ten-year survival accounting for transition probabilities of receiving a heart transplant were calculated using a multi-state Aalen Johansen survival model.RESULTS: Of the 897 patients included in the study, 238 (26.5%) developed post-operative RV failure at index hospitalization. At 10 years the probability of death with post-op RV failure was 79.28% vs 61.70% in patients without (HR 2.10; 95% CI 1.72 - 2.57; p=< .001). Though not significant, patients with RV failure were less likely to be bridged to a heart transplant (HR 0.87, p=.4). Once transplanted the risk of death between both patient groups remained equivalent; the probability of death after a heart transplant was 3.97% in those with post-operative RV failure shortly after index LVAD implant, as compared to 14.71% in those without.CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Long-term durable mechanical circulatory support is associated with significantly higher mortality in patients who develop post-operative RV failure. Improving outcomes may necessitate expeditious bridge to heart transplant wherever appropriate, along with critical reassessment of organ allocation policies.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2021.05.002
View details for PubMedID 34167863