Abstract 18178: Cardiac Index Declines During Long-term LVAD Support
Background: It is increasingly common for patients to be supported by left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) for an extended period of time. At our institution, we have anecdotally noticed a decline in functional status during the course of prolonged LVAD therapy. Our objective was to analyze hemodynamic and echocardiographic data of patients with at least 2 years of ongoing LVAD support.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients who underwent HeartMate II implantation between 2005 and 2012. Of the 131 patients reviewed, we identified 20 patients who were supported by LVADs for at least 2 years and had right heart catheterization (RHC) in both the initial postoperative period and at 2-3 year follow-up. No patients were on inotropic therapy at the time of RHC.
Results: The mean times of initial and follow-up post-LVAD RHCs were 59 ± 41 days and 889 ± 160 days, respectively. Cardiac index (CI) declined by an average of 0.4 L/min/m2 over the study period (p=0.04). Other than a reduction in transpulmonary gradient, no other hemodynamic differences were observed. There was a statistically significant worsening of aortic insufficiency (AI) at follow-up. However, when dichotomized by the median change in CI (-0.4 L/min/m2), there is no difference in AI between groups (p =0.60). In fact, 2 of the 3 patients with moderate AI had an increase in CI. There were no differences in pump speed, mean pressure, aortic valve opening, or lactate dehydrogenase between initial and follow up periods (Table 1).
Conclusion: In the first study to report long term hemodynamic follow up in patients supported by HeartMate II LVADs, cardiac index significantly declined over time. The decline was not the result of worsening right ventricular function or valvular regurgitation nor a difference in pump speed or blood pressure. This is a potentially worrisome finding, especially for destination therapy patients. Further studies are needed to understand what factors may contribute to this decline.
Author Disclosures: R.J. Kalathiya: None. J.M. Chaisson: None. G.R. Stevens: None. C.M. Sciortino: None. A.S. Shah: None. G.J. Whitman: None. S.D. Russell: None. R.J. Tedford: Consultant/Advisory Board; Modest; merck.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.