Is bridge to recovery more likely with pulsatile left ventricular assist devices than with nonpulsatile-flow systems?

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Abstract

Background: Weaning from left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) after myocardial recovery in patients with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy is a clinical option. With the broad application of continuous-flow pumps, we observed a decrease in the numbers of possible LVAD explantations due to myocardial recovery in these particular patients. We investigated this phenomenon and its causes. Methods: Between July 1992 and December 2009, 387 patients (age, 0.1 to 82 years) with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy underwent LVAD implantation at our institution. Patients were divided into two groups depending on whether they were weaned from the LVAD (group A) or not (group B). Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed on 24 different factors with a possible influence on myocardial recovery. Results: In 34 patients, LVAD removal due to myocardial recovery was performed with long-term stable cardiac function (weaning rate, 8.8%). Patients with a pulsatile-flow LVAD had an almost threefold chance for myocardial recovery (odds ratio, 2.719; 95% confidence interval, 1.182 to 6.254) than patients who received continuous-flow devices. Younger patients had significantly higher recovery rates than older patients (odds ratio, 1.036; 95% confidence interval, 1.016 to 1.057). Conclusions: Pulsatile-flow LVADs and young age were important factors for myocardial recovery in idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy patients in our analysis. Further studies should investigate whether pulsatility in itself or the different degrees of left ventricular unloading by the two types of systems play a role in myocardial recovery. © 2011 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

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Krabatsch, T., Schweiger, M., Dandel, M., Stepanenko, A., Drews, T., Potapov, E., … Hetzer, R. (2011). Is bridge to recovery more likely with pulsatile left ventricular assist devices than with nonpulsatile-flow systems? Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 91(5), 1335–1340. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.01.027

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