Objective: Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are commonly used for critically ill patients awaiting heart transplantation, although their effect on long-term outcomes, relative to inotropic support alone, is still debated. Method: Data from Status 1 patients who underwent heart transplantation at our institution between 1990 and 2005 were reviewed (n = 180). They were divided into two groups: those who underwent LVAD implantation as a bridge to transplant (n = 31) and those treated with inotropic agents without the support of LVAD (n = 149). They were compared in terms of demographics and clinical outcome. Results: Both groups were similar in terms of patient and donor demographics. Relative to the inotrope group, the LVAD group did have a longer ischemic time (p = 0.032), a greater incidence of pretransplant transfusion (p < 0.00001), and a greater maximum level of pretransplant panel reactive antibodies (p < 0.001). Creatinine at listing significantly improved in LVAD patients awaiting transplantation (p < 0.0001). Comparisons of 5-year survival in addition to freedom from posttransplant infection, malignancy, revascularization, and acute rejection did not show significant difference between the two groups. The LVAD group did benefit from increased freedom from chronic rejection compared to the inotrope group (p = 0.049). Stepwise Cox Regression did not identify any independent factors affecting patient survival during the first 5 years after transplant. Conclusions: Status 1 patients successfully bridged to heart transplantation with LVADs had similar long-term clinical outcomes compared to those treated with inotropic agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine