Favorable Outcomes with Ventricular Assist Device Exchange

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Megan Carroll
Meghan Tooman
Markian Bochan
Christopher Salerno
Ashwin Ravichandran

Abstract

Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy remains a vital therapeutic option for patients with end-stage heart failure. Unfortunately, adverse events can occur and progress to require consideration for device exchange once the failure of medical management becomes evident, especially when heart transplantation is not possible in a timely manner. The aim of this analysis is to describe the incidence and outcomes of LVAD exchanges at our institution. Between April 2008 and May 2017, 397 patients underwent LVAD implantation, with 32 of those patients subsequently receiving exchange upon the recommendation of our multidisciplinary team due to refractory infection (n=12), device malfunction (n=5), hemolysis (n=9) and pump thrombosis (n=6). The average time from index implant to exchange was 580.6 days, with an average length of stay of 18.2 days. Survival at 3 months was 84.4%, 75.0% at 1 year and median at 8.3 years after exchange. The most common adverse events, occurring in less than 1/3 of the population, included bleeding, infection and stroke. This study suggests that LVAD exchange can be an effective and definitive mechanism for the treatment of otherwise potential fatal pump complications in highly select patients.

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Original Research