For patients bridged to transplant (BTT) with left ventricular assist devices (LVAD), data regarding the use of induction immunosuppressive therapy remain limited. The objectives of the current study were to describe the current trends and clinical consequences of IT in patients BTT with LVAD. The United Network of Organ Sharing database was queried to identify adult, single-organ heart transplant recipients who were BTT with LVAD between 2008 and 2018. Propensity score matching was then used to balance clinical covariates between those patient who did and did not receive IT. The primary outcomes of interest were graft survival, hospitalization for rejection and infection, and freedom from transplant coronary artery disease (TCAD). In the overall cohort, 49.1% (n = 3,978) received IT, with basiliximab being the most commonly used agent followed by antithymocyte globulin. After propensity score matching, 4,388 patients (2,194 without induction and 2,194 with induction) were identified. Between those who did and did not receive IT, there was no significant difference in graft survival, freedom from hospitalization for rejection, and freedom from hospitalization for infection. Patients who received IT experienced increased freedom from TCAD (p = 0.004) with unadjusted hazard ratio of 0.81 (95% Cardiac Index: 0.70–0.93). For freedom from TCAD, antithymocyte globulin was associated with better outcomes than basiliximab (80.2% vs. 73.1% at 5 years, log rank p value = 0.004). In a sensitivity analysis, there was no significant increase in hospitalization for infection in those patients with an infected LVAD before transplant. Use of induction therapy in patients BTT with LVAD appears to be safe and feasible, without a significant increase in the risk of infection or rejection, even in those patients with pretransplant device-related infections. IT, particularly antithymocyte globulin, was associated with increased time to development of TCAD. Routine use of IT in patients BTT with LVAD may be considered, and further randomized control trials are warranted to further support these data.
- Heart transplantation
- Left ventricular assist device
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering