Background: A revised definition of right heart failure (RHF) for the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Intermacs database of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) was introduced in June 2014.
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and severity of RHF over time and the association of RHF status at 3 months with 12-month outcomes after LVAD.
Methods: All patients in Society of Thoracic Surgeons Intermacs with follow-up and supported at least 3 months with a continuous flow LVAD implanted between June 2, 2014 and March 31, 2017 without a simultaneous RVAD. RHF was defined as both documentation and manifestations of elevated central venous pressures.
Results: There were 6,118 patients included with an incidence of RHF at 3, 6, and 12 months postimplant categorized as mild in 5%, 6%, and 6% and moderate in 5%, 3%, and 3%, respectively. For those with no RHF at 3 months, there was a low incidence of subsequent RHF at 6 and 12 months. The lack of RHF at 3 months, compared with mild and moderate RHF, was associated with a lower 12-month cumulative incidence of mortality (6.9% vs 16.7% vs 28.1%; P < 0.0001) and a lower 12-month cumulative incidence of stroke (7.4% vs 9.5% vs 11.0%; P = 0.0095), gastrointestinal bleeding (14.8% vs 24.2% vs 23.6%; P < 0.0001), and rehospitalization (65.2% vs 73.2% vs 71.2%; P < 0.0001).
Conclusions: In patients surviving 3 months with LVAD support alone, mild or moderate RHF occurred in nearly 1 of 10 patients at 12 months. Patients with late RHF had worse survival and a higher cumulative incidence of major adverse events.
Keywords: mechanical circulatory support; outcomes; quality of life; right heart failure; ventricular assist.
Copyright © 2021 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.