Early signatures of bleeding and mortality in patients on left ventricular assist device support: novel methods for personalized risk-stratification

Biomarkers. 2019 Jul;24(5):448-456. doi: 10.1080/1354750X.2019.1609089. Epub 2019 May 6.


Background: Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) provide support for patients with end-stage heart failure. The aims of this study were to determine whether baseline analysis and early trends in routine laboratory data, platelet activity, and thromboinflammatory biomarkers following LVAD implantation reveal trends that predict personalized risks of one-year gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, stroke, pump thrombosis, drive-line infections and mortality in patients on LVAD support. Methods: We performed an observational study at the University of Kentucky with 61 participants who underwent first-time LVAD implantation. Blood was collected at baseline and post-op days 0, 1, 3 and 6 as well as clinical follow-up. Demographics, clinical characteristics, one-year adverse events and routine laboratory data were collected from electronic medical records. Platelet function and plasma biomarkers were profiled. Results: Evaluation of routine laboratory results revealed that sustained thrombocytopenia and increased mean platelet volume (MPV) were associated with development of GI bleeding and mortality. Platelet function at follow-up visit predicted one-year bleeding events. Thrombotic biomarker sCD40L strongly predicted one-year GI bleeding at baseline before implantation and within the first week following LVAD implant. Conclusions: Early trends in routine bloodwork and platelet function may serve as novel signatures of patients at risk to experience adverse events.

Keywords: MPV; Platelet; VAD; inflammation; thrombocytopenia.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / surgery
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects*
  • Hemorrhage* / etiology
  • Hemorrhage* / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mean Platelet Volume
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Precision Medicine
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombocytopenia* / blood
  • Thrombocytopenia* / etiology
  • Thrombocytopenia* / prevention & control
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / surgery*