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The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.

Long-term survival on LVAD support: Device complications and end-organ dysfunction limit long-term success

      Background

      Preoperative variables can predict short term left ventricular assist device (LVAD) survival, but predictors of extended survival remain insufficiently characterized.

      Method

      Patients undergoing LVAD implant (2012-2018) in the Intermacs registry were grouped according to time on support: short-term (<1 year, n = 7,483), mid-term (MT, 1-3 years, n = 5,976) and long-term (LT, ≥3 years, n = 3,015). Landmarked hazard analyses (adjusted hazard ratio, HR) were performed to identify correlates of survival after 1 and 3 years of support.

      Results

      After surviving 1 year of support, additional LVAD survival was less likely in older (HR 1.15 per decade), Caucasian (HR 1.22) and unmarried (HR 1.16) patients (p < 0.05). After 3 years of support, only 3 preoperative characteristics (age, race, and history of bypass surgery, p < 0.05) correlated with extended survival. Postoperative events most negatively influenced achieving LT survival. In those alive at 1 year or 3 years, the occurrence of postoperative renal (creatinine HR MT = 1.09; LT HR = 1.10 per mg/dl) and hepatic dysfunction (AST HR MT = 1.29; LT HR = 1.34 per 100 IU), stroke (MT HR = 1.24; LT HR = 1.42), infection (MT HR = 1.13; LT HR = 1.10), and/or device malfunction (MT HR = 1.22; LT HR = 1.46) reduced extended survival (all p ≤ 0.03).

      Conclusions

      Success with LVAD therapy hinges on achieving long term survival in more recipients. After 1 year, extended survival is heavily constrained by the occurrence of adverse events and postoperative end-organ dysfunction. The growth of destination therapy intent mandates that future LVAD studies be designed with follow up sufficient for capturing outcomes beyond 24 months.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      AE (Adverse event), cfLVAD (continuous flow left ventricular assist device), HF (heart failure), Intermacs (Interagency Registry for Assisted Circulatory Support), LT (long term), MT (mid term), STS (Society of Thoracic Surgeons)
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