Impact of long term left ventricular assist device therapy on donor allocation in cardiac transplantation

Nir Uriel, Ulrich P. Jorde, Sang Woo Pak, Jeff Jiang, Kevin Clerkin, Hiroo Takayama, Yoshifumi Naka, P. Christian Schulze, Donna M. Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD) are increasingly used as a bridge to transplant (BTT) for patients with advanced congestive heart failure (CHF) and are assigned United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) high priority status (1B or 1A). Methods: The purpose of our study was asses the effect of organ allocation in the era of continuous flow pumps. A retrospective chart review was performed of all patients transplanted between 1/2001-1/2011 at Columbia University Medical Center. Results: Seven hundred twenty six adult heart transplantations were performed. Two hundred seventy four BTT patients were implanted with LVAD; of which 227 patients were transplanted. Sixty three patients were transplanted as UNOS-1B, while 164 were transplanted as UNOS-1A (72%). Of these 164 patients, 65 were transplanted during their 30-day 1A period (43%) and 96 after upgrading to UNOS-1A for device complication (56%). For 452 non-device patients 139 (31%) were transplanted as UNOS-1A, 233 as UNOS-1B (52%), and 80 as UNOS-2 (17%). The percentage of patients bridged with LVAD increased from 19% in 2001 to 64% in 2010 while the number transplanted during their 30 day 1A grace period declined from 57% in 2005 to 16% in 2011; i.e. 84% of BTT patients in 2011 needed more than 30 days 1A time to be transplanted. Most LVAD patients are now transplanted while suffering device complication. There was no difference in post transplant survival between LVAD patients transplanted as UNOS 1B, 1A grace period or for a device complication Conclusions: As wait time for cardiac transplantation increased the percentage of patients being bridged to transplant with an LVAD has increased with the majority of them transplanted in the setting of device complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-195
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • UNOS classification
  • cardiac donor
  • heart transplantation
  • left ventricular assist device (LVAD)
  • organ allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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