Duration of left ventricular assist device support affects transplant survival

Jr Ashton, D. J. Goldstein, E. A. Rose, A. D. Weinberg, H. R. Levin, M. C. Oz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Background: Left ventricular assist devices have become an important tool in the successful treatment of heart failure as bridges to transplantation. The optimal duration of device support before heart transplantation is debated. We report the effect of left ventricular device support duration on survival after heart transplantation. Methods: All patients bridged to heart transplantation with the ThermoCardiosystems Heartmate 1000 IP left ventricular assist device between January 1, 1986, and October 15, 1994, were included in our study. Parameters studied included duration of support, measures of end-organ function, and complications while supported with the device. Patients supported <30 days were compared with patients supported >30 days before undergoing transplantation. Results: Patients supported for < 30 days had a threefold increased perioperative mortality compared with patients supported > 30 days (p = 0.031). Laboratory values of end-organ function were similar before left ventricular device insertion in both groups, although at the time of transplantation patients supported < 30 days had a significantly elevated bilirubin level compared with patients supported >30 days (p < 0.001). Patients supported >30 days had significantly more infections than the < 30 days group (p = 0.0345). Conclusions: Patients supported for >30 days with left ventricular assist devices have improved post-transplant perioperative survival because of normalization of end-organ function and improved physiologic status secondary to aggressive physical rehabilitation. Patients should be supported for > 30 days in combination with physical rehabilitation, to improve early survival after heart transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1157
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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