Outcomes after implantable left ventricular assist device replacement procedures

ASAIO J. 2014 Jan-Feb;60(1):44-8. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000011.


As the duration of support increases for patients with continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), device replacement may still be necessary for a variety of indications. Outcomes after replacement LVAD surgeries have not been extensively described, and whether these patients experience outcomes similar to primary LVAD implant patients remains unclear. From 2003 to 2012, 342 consecutive implantable LVAD procedures took place at a single institution, of which 201 were considered destination therapy. Within this larger group, 30 patients underwent 35 replacement procedures. The three major indications for replacement LVAD procedures were mechanical/electrical failure (57%), hemolysis/thrombosis (29%), and infection (14%). Propensity matching using preoperative characteristics was used to generate a primary implant control group to determine the impact of the replacement status on outcomes. Thirty-day and 1-year survival after LVAD replacement was 90% and 48%, respectively. Survival outcomes were worse for patients undergoing device replacement compared with the matched primary cohort (p = 0.03). The need for transfusion and the incidence of postoperative right ventricular and renal dysfunction were similar between the two groups, as was length of hospitalization. There was no difference between the rates of postoperative infection or stroke. Emergent replacement procedures had a higher mortality than those done nonemergently. Given these findings, earlier timing for replacement, temporary stabilization with an extracorporeal device, and use of a nonsternotomy surgical approach should be investigated as strategies to improve outcomes.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Equipment Failure / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / mortality*
  • Heart Failure / surgery*
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Reoperation / mortality
  • Reoperation / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome