Echocardiographic findings in stable outpatients with properly functioning heartmate II left ventricular assist devices

Yan Topilsky, Jae K. Oh, Fawn W. Atchison, Dipesh K. Shah, Valentina M. Bichara, John A. Schirger, Sudhir S. Kushwaha, Naveen L. Pereira, Soon J. Park

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46 Scopus citations


Background: Continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have become part of the standard of care for the treatment of advanced heart failure. However, knowledge of normal values for transthoracic echocardiographic examination and measurements in these patients are lacking. Methods: All transthoracic echocardiographic examinations in 63 consecutive patients, performed 90 and 180 days after surgery with the implantation of a HeartMate II continuous-flow LVAD between February 2007 and January 2010, were retrospectively analyzed. All patients had to be outpatients at 3 and 6 months after surgery and considered stable on LVAD therapy (New York Heart Association class I or II and no need for inotropes, intravenous furosemide, or hospitalization). Results: End-diastolic and end-systolic diameters and left ventricular mass decreased considerably compared with baseline measurements before LVAD implantation. Mitral inflow deceleration time increased (188 ± 70 vs 132.5 ± 27 msec, P = .009) and left atrial volume (84.1 ± 33 vs 141.7 ± 62 mL, P = .003) and E/e′ ratio decreased (20.3 ± 9 vs 26 ± 11, P = .01), all consistent with decreased left ventricular filling pressure. Estimated right ventricular (RV) and right atrial pressure decreased significantly (34.1 ± 10 vs 51.7 ± 14 mm Hg and 9.5 ± 5 vs 14.4 ± 5 mm Hg, respectively, P < .0001 for both). Quantitatively estimated RV function (P = .02), RV fractional area change (27.9 ± 10% vs 37.4 ± 10.9%, P < .0001), and the RV index of myocardial performance (0.32 ± 0.1 vs 0.65 ± 0.2 vs 0.32 ± .01, P < .0001) improved, suggesting improved RV efficiency. LVAD therapy resulted in significant decreases in the severity of mitral regurgitation. Tricuspid regurgitation improved in patients who had concurrent tricuspid surgical correction and was unchanged otherwise. Aortic regurgitation severity increased 3 months after LVAD implantation. There were no significant differences in any of the echocardiographic parameters in the 6-month evaluation compared with the 3-month evaluation. Conclusions: This is the first report of selected typical echocardiographic values in a group of stable patients with normally functioning HeartMate II continuous-flow LVADs. A stable functioning continuous LVAD is associated with evidence of efficient unloading of the left ventricle, improved RV function, significant improvement in mitral regurgitation, improvement in tricuspid regurgitation only in patients undergoing repair, and increased aortic regurgitation. These normal data provide a basis for future echocardiographic studies after LVAD implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-169
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Left ventricular assist device
  • rpm


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