Background: Survival after bridge to transplantation with mechanical circulatory support (MCS) has yielded varying outcomes on the basis of device type and baseline characteristics. Continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVADs) have significantly improved waitlist mortality, but recent changes to the transplantation listing criteria have dramatically altered the use of MCS for bridge to transplantation. Methods: Orthotopic heart transplantations from 1988 to 2019 at our institution (Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St Louis, MO) were retrospectively reviewed and stratified by pretransplantation MCS status into CF-LVAD (n = 224), pulsatile LVAD (n = 49), temporary MCS (n = 71), and primary transplantation (n = 463) groups. Patients who underwent heart transplantation after the approval of CF-LVAD for bridge to transplantation and before the 2018 allocation policy changes underwent subgroup analysis to evaluate predictors of survival and complications in a contemporary cohort. Results: Rates of primary transplantation declined from 88% to 14% over the course of the study. No significant difference in survival was detected in the cohort stratified by MCS status (P =.18). In the modern era, survival of patients treated with CF-LVADs and temporary MCS was noninferior to that seen with primary transplantation (P =.22). Notable predictors of long-term mortality included lower body mass index, peripheral vascular disease, previous coronary artery bypass graft, ABO nonidentical transplant, and increased donor age (all P ≤.02). There were no differences in major postoperative complications. Conclusions: CF-LVAD has grown to account for the majority of transplantations at our center in the last decade, with no adverse effect on survival or postoperative complications. Temporary MCS increased after the 2018 listing criteria change, with acceptable early outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


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