A Bayesian Model to Predict Right Ventricular Failure Following Left Ventricular Assist Device Therapy

JACC Heart Fail. 2016 Sep;4(9):711-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jchf.2016.04.004. Epub 2016 Jun 8.


Objectives: This study investigates the use of a Bayesian statistical model to address the limited predictive capacity of existing risk scores derived from multivariate analyses. This is based on the hypothesis that it is necessary to consider the interrelationships and conditional probabilities among independent variables to achieve sufficient statistical accuracy.

Background: Right ventricular failure (RVF) continues to be a major adverse event following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation.

Methods: Data used for this study were derived from 10,909 adult patients from the Inter-Agency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) who had a primary LVAD implanted between December 2006 and March 2014. An initial set of 176 pre-implantation variables were considered. RVF post-implant was categorized as acute (<48 h), early (48 h to 14 daysays), and late (>14 days) in onset. For each of these endpoints, a separate tree-augmented naïve Bayes model was constructed using the most predictive variables employing an open source Bayesian inference engine.

Results: The acute RVF model consisted of 33 variables including systolic pulmonary artery pressure (PAP), white blood cell count, left ventricular ejection fraction, cardiac index, sodium levels, and lymphocyte percentage. The early RVF model consisted of 34 variables, including systolic PAP, pre-albumin, lactate dehydrogenase level, INTERMACS profile, right ventricular ejection fraction, pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, age, heart rate, tricuspid regurgitation, and body mass index. The late RVF model included 33 variables and was predicted mostly by peripheral vascular resistance, model for end-stage liver disease score, albumin level, lymphocyte percentage, and mean and diastolic PAP. The accuracy of all Bayesian models was between 91% and 97%, with an area under the receiver operator characteristics curve between 0.83 and 0.90, sensitivity of 90%, and specificity between 98% and 99%, significantly outperforming previously published risk scores.

Conclusions: A Bayesian prognostic model of RVF based on the large, multicenter INTERMACS registry provided highly accurate predictions of acute, early, and late RVF on the basis of pre-operative variables. These models may facilitate clinical decision making while screening candidates for LVAD therapy.

Keywords: Bayesian networks; Bayesian statistics; left ventricular assist device; right ventricular failure; risk stratification; statistics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain / blood
  • Peptide Fragments / blood
  • Prealbumin / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Artery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Serum Albumin / metabolism
  • Sodium / blood
  • Stroke Volume
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency / epidemiology
  • Vascular Resistance
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / epidemiology*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / etiology


  • Peptide Fragments
  • Prealbumin
  • Serum Albumin
  • pro-brain natriuretic peptide (1-76)
  • Natriuretic Peptide, Brain
  • Sodium
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase