Optimal timing of cardiac transplantation after ventricular assist device implantation.J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2004 Jun; 127(6):1789-99.JT
We sought to determine the influence of the interval from ventricular assist device implantation to cardiac transplantation on end-organ function and posttransplantation survival.
United Network for Organ Sharing data on 2692 heart transplantations performed in adult patients in the United States between October 1999 and March 2001 were reviewed.
Seventeen percent (466) of adult heart transplant recipients were bridged to transplantation with a ventricular assist device. Almost half of patients with ventricular assist devices undergoing transplantation were upgraded to status 1A as a result of ventricular assist device-related complications occurring more than 30 days after ventricular assist device implantation. Creatinine and total bilirubin levels were less in patients undergoing transplantation after 2 to 4 weeks of mechanical support. One-year survival was higher in the nonventricular assist device than in the ventricular assist device group (85.7% vs 79.7%, P =.0004). Within the ventricular assist device group, survival was lower for patients undergoing transplantation within 2 weeks of ventricular assist device implantation compared with those undergoing transplantation later (74.2% vs 84.2 %, P =.03). One-year survival among patients supported with a ventricular assist device for more than 30 days without complications was 91.4%. Multivariate analysis demonstrated a significant independent effect of the time interval from ventricular assist device implantation to transplantation on posttransplantation mortality and suggested that a period of lowest risk might exist between 1 and 3 months after implantation.
Survival after cardiac transplantation is influenced by the time interval from ventricular assist device insertion to transplantation. Survival is significantly lower when performed within 2 to 4 weeks of ventricular assist device implantation.