Incidence and predictors of myocardial recovery on long-term left ventricular assist device support: Results from the United Network for Organ Sharing database

Stephen Pan, Baran Aksut, Omar E. Wever-Pinzon, Shaline D. Rao, Allison P. Levin, Arthur R. Garan, Justin A. Fried, Koji Takeda, Takayama Hiroo, Melana Yuzefpolskaya, Nir Uriel, Ulrich P. Jorde, Donna M. Mancini, Yoshifumi Naka, Paolo C. Colombo, Veli K. Topkara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background Mechanical circulatory support (MCS) leads to favorable changes in the failing heart at the molecular, cellular, and structural levels. However, myocardial recovery leading to device explantation is rare. We reasoned that the multicenter United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) registry might provide insights into clinical predictors and outcomes of the recovery process. Methods The MCS device data set of the UNOS registry was queried for patients with long-term continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVADs) that were explanted for heart transplantation or indication of recovery. Analysis was restricted to adult patients (≥18 years old) who were listed for an initial heart transplantation. Patients with CF-LVADs that were explanted because of recovery were compared with patients with CF-LVADs who underwent transplantation. Results We identified 594 patients with HeartMate II devices and 92 patients with HeartWare devices. Duration of support was on average 500.4 ± 325.3 days. In 34 (5.0%) patients, devices were explanted secondary to myocardial recovery. Univariate predictors of recovery in patients with long-term LVADs included younger age (40 years vs 53 years), female sex, lower body mass index (25.7 kg/m2 vs 27.9 kg/m2), non-ischemic etiology (91% vs 59%), lack of implantable cardioverter defibrillator at the time of listing (44% vs 79%), and lower serum creatinine (0.97 mg/dl vs 1.28 mg/dl) (all p < 0.05). In the post-explantation period, freedom from death or transplantation was 66% at 1 year. Conclusions The incidence of recovery on device support is low in the current MCS era and limited to a select cohort of predominantly young patients with non-ischemic myopathy. Given the high incidence of disease recurrence, patients should be closely followed after device explantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1624-1629
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • UNOS registry
  • device explantation
  • heart transplant
  • left ventricular assist device
  • mechanical circulatory support
  • recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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