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

Left ventricular assist device bridging to heart transplantation: Comparison of temporary versus durable support

Published:September 08, 2022DOI:


      Since the revision of the United States heart allocation system, increasing use of mechanical circulatory support has been observed as a means to support acutely ill patients. We sought to compare outcomes between patients bridged to orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT) with either temporary (t-LVAD) or durable left ventricular assist devises (d-LVAD) under the revised system.


      The United States Organ Network database was queried to identify all adult OHT recipients who were bridged to transplant with either an isolated t-LVAD or d-LVAD from 10/18/2018 to 9/30/2020. The primary outcome was 1-year post-transplant survival. Predictors of mortality were also modeled, and national trends of LVAD bridging were examined across the study period.


      About 1,734 OHT recipients were analyzed, 1,580 (91.1%) bridged with d-LVAD and 154 (8.9%) bridged with t-LVAD. At transplant, the t-LVAD cohort had higher total bilirubin levels and greater prevalence of pre-transplant intravenous inotrope usage and mechanical ventilation. Median waitlist time was also shorter for t-LVAD. At 1 year, there was a non-significant trend of increased survival in the t-LVAD cohort (94.8% vs 90.1%; p = 0.06). After risk adjustment, d-LVAD was associated with a 4-fold hazards for 1-year mortality (hazard ratio 3.96, 95% confidence interval 1.42-11.03; p = 0.009). From 2018 to 2021, t-LVAD bridging increased, though d-LVAD remained a more common bridging strategy.


      Since the 2018 allocation change, there has been a steady increase in t-LVAD usage as a bridge to OHT. Overall, patients bridged with these devices appear to have least equivalent 1-year survival compared to those bridged with d-LVAD.



      d-LVAD (durable left ventricular assist device), t-LVAD (temporary left ventricular assist device), OHT (orthotopic heart transplantation), OPO (organ procurement organization.)
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