Impact of left ventricular assist device bridging on posttransplant outcomes.
BACKGROUND: Bridge to heart transplantation with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) can be a promising therapy for patients who are not effectively stabilized with conservative measures. However, referral for LVAD therapy may be limited secondary to reports of poor outcomes when mechanical circulatory support is required before transplantation. METHODS: A retrospective review was undertaken to evaluate outcomes in United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) status 1 heart transplant recipients who were bridged to transplant with an implantable LVAD or with intravenous inotropes only from 1994 to 2007. Preoperative characteristics, posttransplant survival, and postoperative complications were compared between 86 patients with an implantable LVAD and 173 patients bridged with intravenous inotropes only. RESULTS: The patients had similar baseline characteristics and pretransplant hemodynamics. Hemodynamics in the LVAD group, as measured by cardiac index, pulmonary vascular resistance, central venous pressure, and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, significantly improved during mechanical support. Short-term and long-term posttransplant survival and the incidence of posttransplant infectious complications and rejection episodes during the first year was similar. The incidence of posttransplant renal dysfunction was higher in patients bridged with inotropes. CONCLUSIONS: Patients bridged to transplant with a LVAD represent a subset of UNOS status 1 patients who deteriorated on intravenous inotropic therapy. Bridging to heart transplantation with an implantable LVAD provides comparable outcomes to similar status 1 patients who were stabilized on inotropic infusions only. In contrast with International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation data, no increase in posttransplant morbidity or mortality occurred in LVAD-bridged patients.
Pal, JD; Piacentino, V; Cuevas, AD; Depp, T; Daneshmand, MA; Hernandez, AF; Felker, GM; Lodge, AJ; Rogers, JG; Milano, CA
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