Echocardiographic predictors of adverse outcomes after continuous left ventricular assist device implantation

Yan Topilsky, Jae K Oh, Dipesh K Shah, Barry A Boilson, John A Schirger, Sudhir S Kushwaha, Naveen L Pereira, Soon J Park
JACC. Cardiovascular Imaging 2011, 4 (3): 211-22

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of the study was to identify echocardiographic predictors of adverse outcome in patients implanted with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (LVAD).

BACKGROUND: Continuous flow LVAD have become part of the standard of care for the treatment of advanced heart failure. However, knowledge of echocardiographic predictors of outcome after LVAD are lacking.

METHODS: Overall, 83 patients received continuous-flow LVAD (HeartMate II, Thoratec Corporation, Pleasanton, California) from February 2007 to June 2010. The LVAD database, containing various echocardiographic parameters, was examined to analyze their influence on in-hospital mortality, a compound cardiac event (in-hospital mortality or acute right ventricular [RV] dysfunction), and long-term mortality.

RESULTS: Eight patients died before discharge (operative mortality 9.6%), and another 15 patients were considered to have acute RV dysfunction immediately after surgery. Patients with relatively small left ventricular end-diastolic diameters (<63 mm) had significantly higher risk for in-hospital mortality (odds ratio [OR]: 0.9; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.83 to 0.99; p = 0.04) or occurrence of the compound cardiac event (OR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.84 to 0.95; p < 0.001). The most significant predictor of outcome was the decreased timing interval between the onset and the cessation of tricuspid regurgitation flow corrected for heart rate (TRDc), a surrogate for early systolic equalization of RV and right atrial pressure. Short TRDc predicted in-hospital mortality (OR: 0.85; 95% CI: 0.74 to 0.97; p = 0.01) and the compound cardiac event (OR: 0.83; 95% CI: 0.74 to 0.91; p < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis based on a logistic regression model demonstrated that the accuracy of predicting the 30-day compound adverse outcome was improved with the addition of echocardiographic variables when added to the commonly used hemodynamic or clinical scores. TRDc predicted long-term survival, with adjusted risk ratios of 0.89 for death from any cause (95% CI: 0.83 to 0.96; p = 0.003) and 0.88 for cardiac-related death (95% CI: 0.77 to 0.98; p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of either a relatively small left ventricle (<63 mm) or early systolic equalization of RV and right atrial pressure (short TRDc) demonstrated by echocardiography is associated with increased 30-day morbidity and mortality. Prediction of early adverse outcomes by echocardiographic parameters is additive to laboratory or hemodynamic variables.

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