Early Ventricular Arrhythmias After LVAD Implantation Is the Strongest Predictor of 30-Day Post-Operative Mortality

JACC Clin Electrophysiol. 2019 Aug;5(8):944-954. doi: 10.1016/j.jacep.2019.05.025. Epub 2019 Aug 19.


Objectives: This study aimed to evaluate incidence, clinical significance, and predictors of early ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) in left ventricular assist device (LVAD) recipients.

Background: LVAD implantation is increasingly used in patients with end-stage heart failure. Early VAs may occur during the 30-day post-operative period, but many questions remain unanswered regarding their incidence and clinical impact.

Methods: This observational study was conducted in 19 centers between 2006 and 2016. Early VAs were defined as sustained ventricular tachycardia and/or ventricular fibrillation occurring <30 days post-LVAD implantation and requiring appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy, external electrical shock, or medical therapy.

Results: A total of 652 patients (median age: 59.8 years; left ventricular ejection fraction: 20.7 ± 7.4%; HeartMate 2: 72.8%; HeartWare: 19.5%; Jarvik 2000: 7.7%) were included in the analysis. Early VAs occurred in 162 patients (24.8%), most frequently during the first week after LVAD implantation. Multivariable analysis identified history of VAs prior to LVAD and any combined surgery with LVAD as 2 predictors of early VAs. The occurrence of early VAs with electrical storm was the strongest predictor of 30-day post-operative mortality, associated with a 7-fold increase of 30-day mortality. However, in patients discharged alive from hospital, occurrence of early VAs did not influence long-term survival.

Conclusions: Early VAs are common after LVAD implantation and increase 30-day post-operative mortality, without affecting long-term survival. Further studies will be needed to analyze whether pre- or pre-operative ablation of VAs may improve post-operative outcomes. (Determination of Risk Factors of Ventricular Arrhythmias After Implantation of Continuous Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device With Continuous Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device [ASSIST-ICD]; NCT02873169).

Keywords: left ventricular assist device; post-operative mortality; ventricular arrhythmia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac* / epidemiology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac* / mortality
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / therapy
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology*
  • Heart-Assist Devices* / adverse effects
  • Heart-Assist Devices* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications* / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications* / mortality
  • Retrospective Studies

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02873169