Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device Support in Patients with Ischemic Versus Nonischemic Cardiomyopathy

Tex Heart Inst J. 2021 Sep 1;48(4):e207241. doi: 10.14503/THIJ-20-7241.


To determine whether the cause of cardiomyopathy affects outcomes in patients who undergo continuous-flow left ventricular assist device support, we compared postimplant adverse events and survival between patients with ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy. The inclusion criteria for the ischemic group were a history of myocardial infarction or revascularization (coronary artery bypass grafting or percutaneous coronary intervention), ≥75% stenosis of the left main or proximal left anterior descending coronary artery, or ≥75% stenosis of ≥2 epicardial vessels. From November 2003 through March 2016, 526 patients underwent device support: 256 (48.7%) in the ischemic group and 270 (51.3%) in the nonischemic group. The ischemic group was older (60.0 vs 50.0 yr), included more men than women (84.0% vs 72.6%), and had more comorbidities. More patients in the nonischemic group were able to have their devices explanted after left ventricular recovery (5.9% vs 2.0%; P=0.02). More patients in the ischemic group had gastrointestinal bleeding (31.2% vs 22.6%; P=0.03), particularly from arteriovenous malformations (20.7% vs 11.9%; P=0.006) and ulcers (16.4% vs 9.3%; P=0.01). Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed no difference in overall survival between groups (P=0.24). Older age, previous sternotomy, higher total bilirubin level, and concomitant procedures during device implantation independently predicted death (P ≤0.03), whereas cause of heart failure did not (P=0.08). Despite the similarity in overall survival between groups, ischemic cardiomyopathy was associated with more frequent gastrointestinal bleeding. This information may help guide the care of patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy who receive continuous-flow left ventricular assist device support.

Keywords: Cardiomyopathy; heart failure/etiology; heart-assist devices/adverse effects; survival; treatment outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiomyopathies* / complications
  • Cardiomyopathies* / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathies* / therapy
  • Female
  • Heart Failure* / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Heart Ventricles
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / complications
  • Myocardial Ischemia* / therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome