Clinical outcomes after ventricular assist device implantation in adults with complex congenital heart disease

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2013 Jun;32(6):615-20. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2013.03.003. Epub 2013 Mar 27.


Background: There are minimal data regarding ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation in adult patients with complex congenital heart disease (CHD).

Methods: The medical records of 6 adult patients with complex CHD who underwent VAD implantation were retrospectively analyzed to characterize pre-operative clinical status, implantation techniques and challenges, post-operative management, and post-operative outcomes.

Results: All patients had a systemic right ventricle, including 2 with single-ventricle physiology. The average age at VAD implantation was 41 years. The implanted VADs included 1 HeartMate XVE, 3 HeartMate II (Thoratec Corp, Pleasanton, CA), 1 Jarvik 2000 (Jarvik Heart, New York, NY), and 1 HeartWare HVAD (HeartWare Inc, Framingham, MA). In-hospital outcomes included no sub-pulmonic ventricular failure, no VAD thrombosis or mechanical failure, 30-day mortality in 1 patient, non-fatal sub-arachnoid hemorrhage in 1 patient, and sustained ventricular tachycardia requiring unsynchronized direct current cardioversion in 1 patient. Of the 5 patients who survived to discharge, 1 patient received 171 days of VAD support before cardiac transplantation and survived for 1,484 days after transplantation; 1 patient received 262 days of VAD support before out-of-hospital death of unknown etiology; 1 patient had received VAD support for 988 days as of December 1, 2012, while awaiting a transplant; and 2 patients who received VADs as destination therapy had received 577 and 493 days of VAD support, respectively, and were still alive as of December 1, 2012.

Conclusions: This case series characterizes important post-operative management challenges and clinical outcomes associated with VAD implantation as a bridge-to-transplant or as destination therapy in adult patients with complex CHD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease Management
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / congenital*
  • Heart Diseases / mortality
  • Heart Diseases / therapy*
  • Heart-Assist Devices* / classification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome