Normalisation of haemodynamics in patients with end-stage heart failure with continuous-flow left ventricular assist device therapy

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Journal Article
Heart Lung and Circulation, 2014, 23 (10), pp. 963 - 969
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© 2014. Background: New generation continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) utilise centrifugal pumps. Data concerning their effect on patient haemodynamics, ventricular function and tissue perfusion is limited. We aimed to document these parameters following HeartWare centrifugal continuous-flow LVAD (HVAD) implantation and to assess the impact of post-operative right heart failure (RHF). Methods: We reviewed 53 consecutive patients (mean age 49.5 ± 14.1yrs) with HVAD implanted in the left ventricle, at St. Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, between January 2007 and August 2012. Available paired right heart catheterisation (n=35) and echocardiography (n=39) data was reviewed to assess response of invasive haemodynamics and ventricular function to LVAD support. Results: A total of 28 patients (53%) were implanted from interim mechanical circulatory support. Seventeen patients (32%) required short-term post-implant veno-pulmonary artery extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. At 100 ± 61 days post-implant, mean pulmonary artery pressure and mean pulmonary capillary wedge pressure decreased from 38.8 ± 7.7 to 22.9 ± 7.7 mmHg and 28.3 ± 6.4 to 13.4 ± 5.4 mmHg respectively (p < 0.001). LV end diastolic diameter decreased from 71.3 ± 12.7 to 61.1 ± 13.7 mm and LV end-systolic diameter from 62.7 ± 12.3 to 53.9 ± 14.4 mm (p < 0.001). Aortic regurgitation remained trivial. Serum sodium increased from 133.3 ± 5.7 to 139.3 ± 2.8mmol/L and creatinine decreased from 109.1 ± 42.5 to 74.3 ± 26.2. μmol/L (p < 0.001). Across the entire cohort, the six-month survival/transplant rate was significantly lower for RHF patients (72.2%, n = 18) compared to those without (96.9%, n = 35, p = 0.01). Conclusions: HVAD support improves haemodynamics, LV dimensions and renal function. Following implantation with a centrifugal continuous-flow LVAD, RHF remains a significant risk with a tendency to worse outcomes in the short to medium term.
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