Effects of Systemic and Device-Related Complications in Patients Bridged to Transplantation With Left Ventricular Assist Devices

Cecillia Lui, Alejandro Suarez-Pierre, Xun Zhou, Todd C. Crawford, Charles D. Fraser, Katherine Giuliano, Steven Hsu, Robert S. Higgins, Kenton J. Zehr, Glenn J. Whitman, Chun W. Choi, Ahmet Kilic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Device-related complications
  • Heart transplantation
  • Left ventricular assist device
  • Systemic complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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