Long-term biventricular HeartWare ventricular assist device support - Case series of right atrial and right ventricular implantation outcomes

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, 2016, 35 (4), pp. 466 - 473
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Shehab et al, 2016, J Heart Lung Transplant, 35, 466-473.pdfPublished Version435.59 kB
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Background There is limited information on outcomes using the HeartWare ventricular assist device (HVAD; HeartWare, Framington, MA) as a biventricular assist device, especially with respect to site of right ventricular assist device (RVAD) implantation. Methods Outcomes in 13 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and severe biventricular failure who underwent dual HVAD implantation as bridge to transplantation between August 2011 and October 2014 were reviewed. Results Of 13 patients, 10 were Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) Level 1, and 3 were INTERMACS Level 2. Mean age was 45 ± 11 years, and mean body mass index was 26 ± 4 kg/m2. There were 7 patients on temporary mechanical support pre-operatively (extracorporeal life support, n = 5; intra-aortic balloon pump, n = 2). The median hospital length of stay was 53 days (interquartile range [IQR] 33-70 days) with a median intensive care unit length of stay of 14 days (IQR 8-36 days). The median length of support on device was 269 days (IQR 93-426 days). The right HVAD was implanted in the right ventricular (RV) free wall in 6 patients and in the right atrial (RA) free wall in 7 patients. Transplantation was successfully performed in 5 patients, and overall survival for the entire cohort was 54%. RVAD pump thrombosis occurred in 3 of 6 RV pumps and 1 of 7 RA pumps. No left ventricular assist device pump thrombosis was observed. Bleeding tended to be higher in the RV implantation group (3 of 6 vs 0 of 7). During follow up, 6 patients died (4 of 7 in the RA group vs 2 of 6 in the RV group). Cause of death was multiple-organ failure in 3 patients, sepsis in 2 patients, and intracerebral hemorrhage in 1 patient. Conclusions Critically ill patients who require biventricular support can be successfully bridged to transplant using 2 HVADs. RA implantation may allow right heart support with lower pump thrombosis and bleeding complications, although this was at the expense of a higher mortality in this cohort.
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