Temporary right ventricular mechanical support in high-risk left ventricular assist device recipients versus permanent biventricular or total artificial heart support

Antonio Loforte, Alexander Stepanenko, Evgenij V Potapov, Francesco Musumeci, Nikolay Dranishnikov, Martin Schweiger, Andrea Montalto, Miralem Pasic, Yuguo Weng, Michael Dandel, Henryk Siniawski, Marian Kukucka, Thomas Krabatsch, Roland Hetzer
Artificial Organs 2013, 37 (6): 523-30
Early planned institution of temporary right ventricular assist device (RVAD) support with the CentriMag (Levitronix LLC, Waltham, MA, USA) in left ventricular assist device (LVAD) recipients was compared with permanent biventricular assist device (BVAD) or total artificial heart (TAH) support. Between 2007 and 2011, 77 patients (age range: 25-70 years) with preoperative evidence of biventricular dysfunction (University of Pennsylvania score >50; University of Michigan score >5) were included. Forty-six patients (38 men; median age 54.5 years, range: 25-70 years) underwent LVAD placement combined with temporary RVAD support (group A); in 31 patients (25 men; median age 56.7 years, range: 28-68 years), a permanent BVAD or TAH implantation (group B) was performed. Within 30 days, 12 patients from group A (26.08%) and 14 patients from group B (45.1%) died on mechanical support (P = 0.02). Thirty patients (65.2%) in group A were weaned from temporary RVAD support and three (6.5%) underwent permanent RVAD (HeartWare, Inc., Framingham, MA, USA) placement. A total of 26 patients (56.5%) were discharged home in group A versus 17 (54.8%) in group B (P = 0.56). Three patients (8.5%) received heart transplantation in group A and six (19.3%) in group B (P = 0.04). In group A, 90-day and 6-month survival was 54.3% (n = 25) versus 51.6% (n = 16) in group B (P = 0.66). In group A, 1-year survival was 45.6% (n = 21) versus 45.1% (n = 14) in group B (P = 0.81). The strategy of planned temporary RVAD support in LVAD recipients showed encouraging results if compared with those of a similar permanent BVAD/TAH population. Weaning from and removal of the temporary RVAD support may allow patients to be on LVAD support only despite preoperative biventricular dysfunction.

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