Background: The use of left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) as a bridge to heart transplantation has increased rapidly over the last 2 decades. We aim to explore the effect of pretransplant systemic and device-related complications on posttransplant survival for patients bridged with LVADs. Materials and methods: The United Network of Organ Sharing (Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network) database was queried for all adult heart transplant recipients (aged ≥ 18 y) transplanted from April 1, 2015, to June 31, 2018. Device-related complications included thrombosis, device infection, device malfunction, life-threatening arrhythmia, and other device complications. Systemic complications included a new dialysis need or ventilator dependence between the time of listing and transplantation, transfusion, or systemic infection requiring treatment with intravenous antibiotics within 2 wk of transplantation. Results: A total of 2131 patients were identified as requiring LVAD support before transplantation. LVAD patients had high rates of preoperative systemic complications (53%) and high rates of device-related complications (42.7% experienced at least one device-related complication). Kaplan–Meier analysis revealed a significantly decreased 1-y survival for LVAD patients bridged to transplantation who experienced a pretransplant systemic complication (P = 0.041). Interestingly, preoperative device-related complications had no effect on 1-y posttransplantation survival (P = 0.93). Multivariate Cox modeling revealed that systemic complications were associated with a significantly increased risk of posttransplant mortality for LVAD patients (hazard ratio 1.45; P = 0.033). Conclusions: Recipients who suffered a systemic complication while awaiting heart transplantation experienced higher short-term mortality rates. Device-related complications do not appear to impact posttransplantation outcomes.
- Device-related complications
- Heart transplantation
- Left ventricular assist device
- Systemic complications
ASJC Scopus subject areas