A Decade of Experience With Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices

Ranjit John, Christopher T. Holley, Peter Eckman, Samit S. Roy, Rebecca Cogswell, Laura Harvey, Sara Shumway, Kenneth Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The use of continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVADs) has revolutionized the landscape of mechanical circulatory support for patients with heart failure. Clinical trials are already testing the next generation of CF-LVADs. In this study, our objective was to review our long-term experience with the current generation of CF-LVADs, specifically, the HeartMate (HM) II (Thoratec Corp, Pleasanton, CA). In this single-center retrospective analysis, we evaluated the records of 278 consecutive patients who underwent a total of 302 HM II placements from June 2005 through June 2014. We excluded 11 patients from our final study group, who had previously undergone placement of a HM XVE that failed. We divided the remaining 267 patients into 3 equal groups of 89 patients each, by time period: group 1, June 2005 through May 2009; group 2, June 2009 through January 2012; and group 3, February 2012 through June 2014. To examine differences in survival between our 3 groups, we used time-to-event analysis, including the Kaplan-Meier method. To examine secondary outcomes (including stroke, hemolysis, gastrointestinal bleeding, pump thrombus, and transplant), we used one-way analysis of variance. For our final study group of 267 patients, the total follow-up time was 479.01 patient-years (median, 469 days). The mean age of patients was 57 years; 81.4% were male. In all, 209 (78.9%) patients underwent HM II placement as a bridge to transplant; 58 (21.1%), as destination therapy (DT). The overall survival rate was 94% at 30 days, 77% at 1 year, 65% at 2 years, 60% at 3 years, 50% at 4 years, and 48% at 5 years. In bridge to transplant patients, the survival rate was 78% at 1 year and 66% at 2 years; in DT patients, 70% and 60%. In group 1 patients, the survival rate was 94% at 30 days, 64% at 1 year, and 48% at 2 years; in group 2, 93%, 88%, and 76%; and in group 3, 94%, 77%, and 73% (P = 0.003). In the later years of our study period, from June 2009 onwards (ie, in groups 2 and 3), we noted a statistically significant increase in HM II placement as DT, a reduction of driveline infections, increasing pump exchange, increasing hemolysis, a reduced frequency of transplants, and an improved survival rate (as compared with the earlier group 1). The HM II has favorably influenced the outcomes of patients with end-stage heart failure, yet major complications still limit their survival. Improving compatibility between the pump and the individual host patient, enhancing anticoagulation strategies, and developing a totally implantable pump might further reduce complications thereby improving survival times and allowing CF-LVAD placement to be a true long-term alternative to a heart transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-375
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Presented at the American Association of Thoracic Surgery meeting, April 2015, Seattle, WA.Dr John reports receiving grant support from Thoratec. Dr Eckman reports receiving fees from Thoratec. Drs Holley, Roy, Cogswell, Harvey, Shumway and Liao have no commercial interests to disclose.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


  • circulatory support devices
  • heart failure
  • outcomes
  • surgery (complications)


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