Left ventricular assist systems and infection-related outcomes: A comprehensive analysis of the MOMENTUM 3 trial

Chetan B. Patel, Laura Blue, Barbara Cagliostro, Stephen H. Bailey, John W. Entwistle, Ranjit John, Vinay Thohan, Joseph C. Cleveland, Daniel J. Goldstein, Nir Uriel, Xiaolu Su, Sami I. Somo, Poornima Sood, Mandeep R. Mehra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: In a randomized controlled trial (MOMENTUM 3), the HeartMate 3 (HM3) fully magnetically levitated centrifugal-flow left ventricular assist device (LVAD) demonstrated superiority over the HeartMate II (HMII) axial-flow LVAD. These findings were driven by hemocompatibility-related outcomes, but infection-related outcomes were not altered by device choice. In this trial-level analysis, we analyzed the clinical patterns of infection-related outcomes over 2 years of support. METHODS: In MOMENTUM 3, 1,020 patients were implanted with either the HM3 (n = 515) or HMII (n = 505) pump. Clinical characteristics and morbidity- and mortality-related outcomes were evaluated to identify predictors associated with major infectious complications, using univariable and multivariable models. RESULTS: The cumulative number of infections at 2 years was 1,213 (634 HM3 and 579 HMII), and major infection occurred in 58% of patients with the HM3 and 56% of patients with the HMII (p = 0.57). Infections of a local nature unrelated to pump components were most common (n = 681/1,213; 56%), followed by driveline-associated infection (n = 329/1,213; 27%), sepsis (n = 194/1,213; 16%), and other events (n = 9/1,213; 0.7%). Bacterial pathogens were implicated in 806 of 1,213 events (66%); significant predictors of infection included sex (women vs men; hazard ratio [HR]: 1.38, p = 0.003), pre-implant use of intra-aortic balloon pump (HR: 1.33, p = 0.02), pre-implant history of cardiac surgery (HR: 1.28, p = 0.01), and body mass index ≥ 30 (HR: 1.40, p < 0.0001). Most deaths in those with infection occurred owing to non-infectious causes. CONCLUSION: Infection is the most common adverse effect in patients implanted with contemporary continuous-flow LVADs, with most such events unrelated to the pump or its peripheral components. Whether chronic mechanical circulatory devices confer an immunomodulatory effect pre-disposing to infection warrants closer scrutiny to understand and ameliorate this morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-781
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • LVAD
  • MCS
  • driveline
  • heart failure
  • infection
  • prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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