Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device Survival Improves With Multidisciplinary Approach

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11 Scopus citations


Background: Continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices have revolutionized the management of advanced heart failure. Device complications continue to limit survival, but enhanced management strategies have shown promise. This study compared outcomes for HeartMate II recipients before and after implementation of a multidisciplinary continuous support heart team (HTMCS) strategy. Methods: Between January 2012 and December 2016, 124 consecutive patients underwent primary HeartMate II implantation at our institution. In January 2015, we instituted a HTMCS approach consisting of (1) daily simultaneous cardiology/cardiac surgery/critical care/pharmacy/coordinator rounds, (2) pharmacist-directed anticoagulation, (3) speed optimization echocardiogram before discharge, (4) comprehensive device thrombosis screening and early intervention, (5) blood pressure clinic with pulsatility-adjusted goals, (6) early follow-up after discharge and individual long-term coordinator/cardiologist assignment, and (7) systematic basic/advanced/expert training and credentialing of ancillary in-hospital providers. All patients completed 1-year of follow-up. Results: Demographic characteristics for pre-HTMCS (n = 71) and HTMCS (n = 53) groups, including age (55.8 ± 12.1 versus 52.5 ± 14.1 years, p = not significant), percentage of men (77.5% versus 71.7%, p = not significant), and Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support class 3 (84.5% versus 83.0%, p = not significant), were comparable. One-year survival was 74.6% versus 100% for the pre-HTMCS and HTMCS groups, respectively (p = 0.0002). One-year survival free of serious adverse events (reoperation to replace device or disabling stroke) was 70.4% versus 84.9% for the pre-HTMCS and HTMCS groups, respectively (p = 0.059). Event per patient-year rates for disabling stroke (0.15 versus 0, p = 0.019), gastrointestinal bleeding (0.87 versus 0.51, p = 0.11), and driveline infection (0.24 versus 0.10, p = 0.18) were lower for the HTMCS group, whereas pump thrombosis requiring device exchange was higher (0.09 versus 0.18, p = 0.14). Conclusions: Implementing a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach substantially improved outcomes for recipients of continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-516
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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