- A significant portion of patients with advanced heart failure (HF) and left ventricular assist device (LVAD) history can reach cardiac and physical functioning within same range as healthy control patients.
- These patients can actually have their LVADs removed.
Why this matters
- LVADs usually serve as a bridge to transplantation, but some patients have shown signs of recovery even with end-stage HF, suggesting a role for LVAD as a bridge to recovery, too.
- At baseline, healthy control patients had better functional measures.
- 37.5% (n=6) and 62.5% (n=10) of explanted LVAD patients, respectively, had peak exercise cardiac power output and peak exercise O2 consumption within ranges of age- and sex-matched healthy control patients.
- That said, LVAD implanted and explanted patients on average still had significantly different values from healthy control patients (P<.05).
- Recovered patients seemed to sustain recovery for several years after explantation.
- 58 men (18 implanted LVAD; 16 explanted LVAD; 24 heart transplant candidates) and 97 healthy control patients were included.
- Funding: Author funding from university institutions, St. Jude Thoratec, and HeartWare.
- Small patient groups (all men).