Background: Left ventricular assist devices have become an important tool in the successful treatment of heart failure as bridges to transplantation. The optimal duration of device support before heart transplantation is debated. We report the effect of left ventricular device support duration on survival after heart transplantation. Methods: All patients bridged to heart transplantation with the ThermoCardiosystems Heartmate 1000 IP left ventricular assist device between January 1, 1986, and October 15, 1994, were included in our study. Parameters studied included duration of support, measures of end-organ function, and complications while supported with the device. Patients supported <30 days were compared with patients supported >30 days before undergoing transplantation. Results: Patients supported for < 30 days had a threefold increased perioperative mortality compared with patients supported > 30 days (p = 0.031). Laboratory values of end-organ function were similar before left ventricular device insertion in both groups, although at the time of transplantation patients supported < 30 days had a significantly elevated bilirubin level compared with patients supported >30 days (p < 0.001). Patients supported >30 days had significantly more infections than the < 30 days group (p = 0.0345). Conclusions: Patients supported for >30 days with left ventricular assist devices have improved post-transplant perioperative survival because of normalization of end-organ function and improved physiologic status secondary to aggressive physical rehabilitation. Patients should be supported for > 30 days in combination with physical rehabilitation, to improve early survival after heart transplantation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation|
|State||Published - Dec 14 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine