Right ventricular failure (RVF) after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation appears to be associated with increased mortality. However, the determination of which patients are at greater risk of developing postoperative RVF remains controversial and relatively unknown. We sought to determine the preoperative risk factors for the development of RVF after LVAD implantation. The data were obtained for 175 consecutive patients who had received an LVAD. RVF was defined by the need for inhaled nitric oxide for >/=48 hours or intravenous inotropes for >14 days and/or right ventricular assist device implantation. An RVF risk score was developed from the beta coefficients of the independent variables from a multivariate logistic regression model predicting RVF. Destination therapy (DT) was identified as the indication for LVAD implantation in 42% of our patients. RVF after LVAD occurred in 44% of patients (n = 77). The mortality rates for patients with RVF were significantly greater at 30, 180, and 365 days after implantation compared to patients with no RVF. By multivariate logistic regression analysis, 3 preoperative factors were significantly associated with RVF after LVAD implantation: (1) a preoperative need for intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation, (2) increased pulmonary vascular resistance, and (3) DT. The developed RVF risk score effectively stratified the risk of RV failure and death after LVAD implantation. In conclusion, given the progressively growing need for DT, the developed RVF risk score, derived from a population with a large percentage of DT patients, might lead to improved patient selection and help stratify patients who could potentially benefit from early right ventricular assist device implantation.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.