The precise physiological changes associated with the use of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) are not well characterized. We examined the impact of changes in hemodynamic state using LVAD on endothelial function. We measured flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) to evaluate endothelial vasodilator function of the brachial artery in 53 patients (dilated cardiomyopathy: 39, ischemic cardiomyopathy: 4, and others: 10) with an implanted LVAD (DuraHeart, EVAHEART, or HeartMate II). We found that FMD value in the HeartMateII LVAD group (9.3% ± 2.9%) was significantly higher than those in the other two groups (EVAHEART: 6.7% ± 2.8% and DuraHeart: 6.2% ± 4.0%). Other factors that affected the FMD value were age (r = - 0.31, p = 0.026), Brinkman index (r = - 0.30, p = 0.029); however, aortic opening, aortic regurgitation, and other hemodynamic parameters such as cardiac index or pulmonary capillary wedge pressure did not correlate with FMD. Multivariate analyses revealed that the difference among the LVAD models most significantly affected the FMD values after adjusting for age and smoking status (t = 2.6, p = 0.014). Event free survival rate of death and cerebral infarction was not significantly different according to the value of FMD. The difference among the LVAD groups most significantly affected the state of endothelial function and it had more impact than other clinical factors.
Keywords: Flow-mediated vasodilation; Inflammation; Left ventricular assist device; Vascular function.