Background: Ventricular assist devices (VADs) provide effective treatment for end-stage heart failure; however, most patients experience > or =1 major adverse events (AEs) while on VAD support. Although early, non-fatal AEs may increase the risk of later death during VAD support, this relationship has not been established. Therefore, we sought to determine the impact on 1-year mortality of AEs occurring during the first 60 days of VAD support.
Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed using prospectively collected data from a single-site database for patients aged > or =18 years receiving left ventricular or biventricular support during 1996 to 2008 and who survived >60 days on VAD support. Fourteen major classes of AEs occurring during this 60-day period were examined. One-year survival rates of patients with and without each major AE were compared.
Results: The study included 163 patients (80% men; mean age, 49.5 years), of whom 87% were European American, 72% had left ventricular support, and 83% were bridge to transplant. The occurrence of renal failure, respiratory failure, bleeding events, and reoperations during the first 60 days after implantation significantly increased the risk of 1-year mortality. After controlling for gender, age, VAD type, and intention to treat, renal failure was the only major AE significantly associated with later mortality (hazard ratio, 2.96; p = .023).
Conclusions: Specific AEs, including renal failure, respiratory and bleeding events, and reoperations, significantly decrease longer-term survival. Renal failure conferred a 3-fold increased risk of 1-year mortality. Peri-operative management should focus on strategies to mitigate risk for renal failure in order to maximize later outcomes.
Copyright 2010 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.