Regional differences in use and outcomes of left ventricular assist devices: Insights from the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support Registry

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2015 Jul;34(7):912-20. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2015.01.007. Epub 2015 Jan 16.


Background: We examined whether characteristics, implant strategy, and outcomes in patients who receive continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVAD) differ across geographic regions in the United States.

Methods: A total of 7,404 CF-LVAD patients enrolled in the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) from 134 participating institutions were analyzed from 4 distinct regions: Northeast, 2,605 (35%); Midwest, 2,210 (30%); West, 973 (13%); and South, 1,616 (22%).

Results: At baseline, patients in the Northeast and South were more likely to have INTERMACS risk profiles 1 and 2. A bridge-to-transplant (BTT) strategy was more common in the Northeast (31.7%; West, 18.5%; South, 26.9%; Midwest, 25.5%; p < 0.0001). In contrast, destination therapy (DT) was more likely in the South (40.6%; Northeast, 32.3%; Midwest, 27.3%; West, 27.3%; p < 0.0001). Although all regions showed a high 1-year survival rate, some regional differences in long-term mortality were observed. Notably, survival beyond 1 year after LVAD implant was significantly lower in the South. However, when stratified by device strategy, no significant differences in survival for BTT or DT patients were found among the regions. Finally, with the exception of right ventricular failure, which was more common in the South, no other significant differences in causes of death were observed among the regions.

Conclusions: Regional differences in clinical profile and LVAD strategy exist in the United States. Despite an overall high survival rate at 1 year, differences in mortality among the regions were noted. The lower survival rate in the South may be attributed to patient characteristics and higher use of LVAD as DT.

Keywords: INTERMACS; bridge to transplant; continuous-flow; destination therapy; left ventricular assist device; mechanical circulatory support; outcomes; regions.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Heart-Assist Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Registries*
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology