Effects of exercise during long-term support with a left ventricular assist device. Results of the experience with left ventricular assist device with exercise (EVADE) pilot trial

B E Jaski, J Kim, R S Maly, K R Branch, R Adamson, L K Favrot, S C Smith, W P Dembitsky
Circulation 1997 May 20, 95 (10): 2401-6

BACKGROUND: Long-term implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) may be a future alternative treatment for end-stage heart failure. The objective of the present study was to determine the hemodynamic effects of supine bicycle exercise and functional capacity during upright treadmill exercise in 10 patients after LVAD implantation placed for refractory heart failure as a bridge to cardiac transplantation.

METHODS AND RESULTS: With supine bicycle exercise, 46 +/- 25 days after device placement, heart and LVAD rates increased in parallel from 87 +/- 12 to 117 +/- 14 bpm and 82 +/- 18 to 107 +/- 21 bpm, respectively. Peak O2 consumption was 8.2 +/- 1.7 mL Fick Systemic blood flow rose from 5.0 +/- 1.2 to 7.8 +/- 2.5 L/min. Right atrial and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures increased from 6 +/- 4 and 5 +/- 3 mm Hg to 12 +/- 5 and 13 +/- 8 mm Hg, respectively. End-diastolic left ventricular dimension increased from 3.9 +/- 1.3 to 4.8 +/- 1.6 cm; however, right ventricular dimension decreased from 3.2 +/- 1.0 to 2.3 +/- 0.9 cm. With upright treadmill exercise, peak O2 consumption was 14.1 +/- 2.9 mL

CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that exercise during long-term LVAD support is safe and is not limited by right heart decompensation. It also justifies a larger study to examine how exercise after LVAD implantation compares with that after cardiac transplantation.

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