Cystatin C-Versus Creatinine-Based Assessment of Renal Function and Prediction of Early Outcomes among Patients with a Left Ventricular Assist Device

Alberto Pinsino, Giulio M. Mondellini, Eugene A. Royzman, Katherine L. Hoffman, Debra D'Angelo, Melissa Mabasa, Antonia Gaudig, Amelia M. Zuver, Amirali Masoumi, A. Reshad Garan, Sumit Mohan, Syed A. Husain, Katherine Toma, Robert T. Faillace, Jon T. Giles, Koji Takeda, Hiroo Takayama, Yoshifumi Naka, Veli K. Topkara, Ryan T. DemmerJai Radhakrishnan, Paolo C. Colombo, Melana Yuzefpolskaya

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7 Scopus citations


Background: Estimated glomerular filtration rate (EGFR) based on serum creatinine (sCr) improves early after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation but subsequently declines. Although sCr is a commonly accepted clinical standard, cystatin C (CysC) has shown superiority in assessment of renal function in disease states characterized by muscle wasting. Among patients with an LVAD, we aimed to (1) longitudinally compare CysC-EGFR and sCr-EGFR, (2) assess their predictive value for early postoperative outcomes, and (3) investigate mechanisms which might explain potential discrepancies. Methods: A prospective cohort (n=116) with CysC and sCr concurrently measured at serial time points, and a retrospective cohort (n=91) with chest computed tomography performed within 40 days post-LVAD were studied. In the prospective cohort, the primary end point was a composite of in-hospital mortality, renal replacement therapy, or severe right ventricular failure. In the retrospective cohort, muscle mass was estimated using pectoralis muscle area indexed to body surface area (pectoralis muscle index). Results: In the prospective cohort, sCr-EGFR significantly improved early post-LVAD and subsequently declined, whereas CysC-EGFR remained stable. CysC-EGFR but not sCr-EGFR predicted the primary end point: Odds ratio per 5 mL/(min·1.73 m2) decrease 1.16 (1.02-1.31) versus 0.99 (0.94-1.05). In retrospective cohort, for every 5 days post-LVAD, a 6% decrease in pectoralis muscle index was observed (95% CI, 2%-9%, P=0.003). After adjusting for time on LVAD, for every 1 cm2/m2 decrease in pectoralis muscle index, there was a 4% decrease in 30-day post-LVAD sCr (95% CI, 1%-6%, P=0.004). Conclusions: Initial improvement in sCr-EGFR is likely due to muscle wasting following LVAD surgery. CysC may improve assessment of renal function and prediction of early postoperative outcomes in patients with an LVAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere006326
JournalCirculation: Heart Failure
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • cardio-renal syndrome
  • creatinine
  • cystatin C
  • glomerular filtration rate
  • heart failure

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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