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

Sajad Shehab, Peter S Macdonald, Anne M Keogh, Eugene Kotlyar, Andrew Jabbour, Desiree Robson, Phillip J Newton, Sriram Rao, Louis Wang, Sabine Allida, Mark Connellan, Emily Granger, Kumud Dhital, Phillip Spratt, Paul C Jansz, Christopher S Hayward
Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation 2016, 35 (4): 466-73

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/m(2). 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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