Natural history and clinical effect of aortic valve regurgitation after left ventricular assist device implantation.
OBJECTIVES: Aortic valve regurgitation reduces left ventricular assist device mechanical efficiency. Evidence has also suggested that left ventricular assist device implantation can induce or exacerbate aortic valve regurgitation. However, this has not been compared with aortic valve regurgitation progression in a nonsurgical end-stage heart failure population. Furthermore, its clinical effect is unclear. We sought to characterize the development and progression of aortic valve regurgitation in left ventricular assist device recipients and to identify its clinical effect. METHODS: A review of all consecutive patients who received an intracorporeal left ventricular assist device at Duke University Medical Center from January 2004 to January 2011 was conducted. Cases of previous or concomitant aortic valve surgery were excluded. Data from the remaining implants (n = 184) and a control group of contemporaneous nonsurgical patients with end-stage heart failure (n = 132) were analyzed. Serial transthoracic echocardiography was used to characterize aortic valve regurgitation as a function of time. RESULTS: Left ventricular assist device implantation was associated with worsening aortic valve regurgitation, defined as an increase in aortic valve regurgitation grade, relative to the nonsurgical patients with end-stage heart failure (P < .0001). The recipients of continuous flow left ventricular assist devices were more likely than recipients of pulsatile left ventricular assist devices to develop worsening aortic valve regurgitation (P = .0348). Moderate or severe aortic valve regurgitation developed in 21 left ventricular assist device recipients; this was unrelated to the type of device implanted (continuous vs pulsatile; P = .754) or aortic valve regurgitation grade before left ventricular assist device implantation (P = .42). Five patients developed severe aortic valve regurgitation; all of whom underwent aortic valve procedures. CONCLUSIONS: Native aortic valve regurgitation developed and/or progressed after left ventricular assist device implantation, with this effect being more pronounced in continuous flow left ventricular assist device recipients. However, the preoperative aortic valve regurgitation grade failed to correlate with the development of substantial aortic valve regurgitation after left ventricular assist device implantation. After left ventricular assist device implantation, aortic valve regurgitation had a small, but discernible, clinical effect, with some patients developing severe aortic valve regurgitation and requiring aortic valve procedures. These data have implications for the long-term management of left ventricular assist device recipients, in particular as the durability of implantable continuous flow left ventricular assist device therapy improves.
Rajagopal, K; Daneshmand, MA; Patel, CB; Ganapathi, AM; Schechter, MA; Rogers, JG; Milano, CA
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