Impact of frailty on mortality and morbidity in bridge to transplant recipients of contemporary durable mechanical circulatory support.

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Journal Article
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 2022, 41, (6), pp. 829-839
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BACKGROUND: Frailty is associated with adverse outcomes in advanced heart failure. We studied the impact of frailty on postoperative outcomes in bridge to transplant (BTT) durable mechanical circulatory support (MCS) recipients. METHODS: Patients undergoing left ventricular assist device (LVAD, n = 96) or biventricular support (BiV, n = 11) as BTT underwent frailty assessment. Frailty was defined as ≥ 3 physical domains of the Fried's Frailty Phenotype (FFP) or ≥ 2 physical domains of the FFP plus cognitive impairment on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). RESULTS: No difference in mortality at 360 days was observed in frail (n = 6/38, 15.8%) vs non-frail (n = 4/58, 6.9%) LVAD supported patients, p = 0.19. However, there was a significant excess mortality in frail BiV (n = 4/5) vs non-frail BiV (n = 0/6) supported patients, p = 0.013. In all patients, frail patients compared to non-frail patients experienced longer intensive care unit stay, 12 vs 6 days (p < 0.0001) and hospital length of stay, 48 vs 27 days (p < 0.0001). There was no difference in hemocompatibility and infection related adverse events. The majority (n = 22/29, 75.9%) of frail patients became non-frail following MCS; contrastingly, a minority (n = 3/42, 7.1%) became frail from being non-frail (p = 0.0003). CONCLUSIONS: Abnormal markers of frailty are common in patients undergoing BTT-MCS support and those used herein predict mortality in BiV-supported patients, but not in LVAD patients. These findings may help us better identify patients who will benefit most from BiV-BTT therapy.
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