The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Intermacs 2022 Annual Report: Focus on the 2018 Heart Transplant Allocation System

Melana Yuzefpolskaya, Sarah E. Schroeder, Brian A. Houston, Monique R. Robinson, Igor Gosev, Alex Reyentovich, Devin Koehl, Ryan Cantor, Ulrich P. Jorde, James K. Kirklin, Francis D. Pagani, David A. D'Alessandro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The 13th annual report from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (Intermacs) highlights outcomes for 27,314 patients receiving continuous-flow durable left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) during the last decade (2012-2021). In 2021, 2464 primary LVADs were implanted, representing a 23.5% reduction in the annual volume compared with peak implantation in 2019 and an ongoing trend from the prior year. This decline is likely a reflection of the untoward effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic and the change in the United States heart transplant allocation system in 2018. The last several years have been characterized by a shift in device indication and type, with 81.1% of patients now implanted as destination therapy and 92.7% receiving an LVAD with full magnetic levitation in 2021. However, despite an older, more ill population being increasingly supported preimplant with temporary circulatory devices in the recent (2017-2021) vs prior (2012-2016) eras, the 1- and 5-year survival continues to improve, at 83.0% and 51.9%, respectively. The adverse events profile has also improved, with a significant reduction in stroke, gastrointestinal bleeding, and hospital readmissions. Finally, we examined the impact of the change in the heart transplant allocation system in 2018 on LVAD candidacy, implant strategy, and outcomes. In the competing-outcomes analysis, the proportion of transplant-eligible patients receiving a transplant has declined from 56.5% to 46.0% at 3 years, whereas the proportion remaining alive with ongoing support has improved from 24.1% to 38.1% at 3 years, underscoring the durability of the currently available technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-327
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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