Distinctive kidney function trajectories following left ventricular assist device implantation

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2022 Dec;41(12):1798-1807. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2022.08.024. Epub 2022 Sep 8.


Background: The aim of this study was to assess for distinct kidney function trajectories following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) placement. Cohort studies of LVAD recipients demonstrate that kidney function tends to increase early after LVAD placement, followed by decline and limited sustained improvement. Inter-individual differences in kidney function response may be obscured.

Methods: We identified continuous flow LVAD implantations in US adults (2016-2017) from INTERMACS (Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support). Primary outcomes were estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) trajectories pre-implantation to ∼12 months. Latent class mixed models were applied to primary and validation samples. Clinical differences among trajectory groups were investigated.

Results: Among 4,615 LVAD implantations, 5 eGFR trajectory groups were identified. The 2 largest groups (Groups 1 and 2) made up >80% of the cohort, and were similar to group average trajectories previously reported, with early eGFR rise followed by decline and stabilization. Three novel trajectory groups were found: worsening followed by sustained low kidney function (Group 3, 10.1%), sustained improvement (Group 4, 3.3%), and worsening followed by variation (Group 5, 1.7%). These groups differed in baseline characteristics and outcomes. Group 4 was younger and had more cardiogenic shock and pre-implantation dialysis; Group 3 had higher rates of pre-existing chronic kidney disease, along with older age.

Conclusions: Novel eGFR trajectories were identified in a national cohort, possibly representing distinct cardiorenal processes. Type 1 cardiorenal syndrome may have been predominant in Group 4, and parenchymal kidney disease may have been predominant in Group 3.

Keywords: advanced heart failure; cardiorenal; continuous-flow left ventricular assist device; kidney function; latent class mixed models; trajectory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Heart Failure* / surgery
  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Humans
  • Kidney
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome