Impact of Postoperative Liver Dysfunction on Survival After Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation

Kaustav Majumder, John R. Spratt, Christopher T. Holley, Samit S. Roy, Rebecca J. Cogswell, Kenneth Liao, Ranjit John

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background Liver dysfunction in left ventricular assist device (LVAD) recipients is common both before and after implantation. Postoperative liver dysfunction (PLD) develops in some LVAD recipients without preoperative liver dysfunction. The aim of this study was to assess clinical outcomes in such patients. Methods Records of all patients undergoing implantation of a HeartMate II (HM II, St. Jude Medical, Inc, Minneapolis, MN) LVAD at a single center at the University of Minnesota from January 2005 through June 2014 were analyzed. PLD was defined by hypertransaminasemia or hyperbilirubinemia, or both, during the hospitalization for LVAD implantation. Results During the study period, 284 patients underwent HM II implantation. Excluded from analysis were 14 recipients with preoperative liver dysfunction. In the final cohort (n = 270), there were no major difference in preoperative characteristics among those patients with versus without PLD. PLD developed in 129 (47.8%) recipients: 16 (12.4%) had isolated hypertransaminasemia (group I), 76 (58.9%) had isolated hyperbilirubinemia (group II), and 37 (28.7%) had combined hypertransaminasemia and hyperbilirubinemia (group III). Group III LVAD recipients had significantly greater rates of 30-day, 90-day, and 1-year mortality, along with significantly higher transfusion requirements and higher rates of renal replacement therapy, prolonged ventilation, and vasopressor use. Moreover, their mortality risk was significantly higher than that of PLD-free LVAD recipients (hazard ratio, 4.6; 95% confidence interval, 2.1 to 10.1; p < 0.001). Conclusions Isolated hyperbilirubinemia is common after LVAD implantation. In this study, it was not associated with an increase in early or midterm postoperative mortality. However, postoperative combined transaminasemia and hyperbilirubinemia was associated with a significant increase in early and midterm morbidity and mortality. Further research into the pathogenesis of post-LVAD PLD is necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1556-1562
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2017


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