Background: Neurocognitive (NC) changes in heart failure patients receiving left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are not well understood. The purpose of this study was to document changes in the cognitive performance of patients with the continuous-flow HeartMate II LVAD as a bridge to transplant (BTT). Methods: A NC protocol was used to evaluate patient performance at 1, 3 and 6 months after LVAD implantation at 11 centers. A total of 239 test sessions were completed in 93 patients including paired evaluations in 51 to 57 patients from 1 to 3 months, and in 20 to 28 patients with results from 1, 3 and 6 months. Five NC domains were assessed, including visual spatial perception, auditory and visual memory, executive functions, language and processing speed. Results: There were statistically significant (p < 0.05), but limited improvements between 1, 3 and 6 months in NC domain performances as seen in visual memory, executive functions, visual spatial perception and processing speed. There were no significant declines in any neurocognitive test in any domain over these time periods. Conclusions: The cognitive performance of advanced heart failure patients remained stable or showed slight improvements from Month 1 to Month 6 of continuous-blood-flow support with the HeartMate II LVAD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine