Heart waitlist survival in adults with an intra-aortic balloon pump relative to other Status 2, Status 1, and inotrope Status 3 patients

Thomas C. Hanff, Adeline Browne, Jacqueline Dickey, Holly Gaines, Michael O. Harhay, Matt Goodwin, Craig H. Selzman, James C. Fang, Stavros G. Drakos, Josef Stehlik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) utilization has significantly outpaced other Status 2 eligibility criteria for heart transplant. The risk of waitlist mortality of IABP-supported patients relative to other Status 2 listed patients has not been described. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of all adult patients listed Status 2 for heart transplantation under the current U.S. allocation policy, using data from the United Network for Organ Sharing. Patients listed status 1 and status 3 for high-dose inotropes were included for reference. Mortality and waitlist decompensation were modeled as a function of time-varying status in cause-specific Cox survival models. Results: We identified 3638 Status 2 listings, of whom 1676 (46%) were Status 2 due to IABP. Relative to patients supported with IABP, status 2 patients with ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation [VT/VF] (HR 4.0, p <.001), right-or-biventricular assist device configurations (HR 2.3, p =.002), or temporary surgical left ventricular assist devices [LVAD] (HR 2.6, p =.003) had greater risk of waitlist mortality and decompensation. Other Status 2 subgroups had mortality comparable to IABP Status 2. Risk of waitlist mortality and decompensation for IABP Status 2 was similar to Status 3 patients listed for high-dose inotropes (HR 1.2, p =.27) and lower than Status 1 patients (HR 0.7, p =.002). Conclusions: Waitlist mortality varies significantly by Status 2 eligibility criteria and is highest among patients listed for VT/VF, right-or-biVAD configurations, or temporary surgical LVADs. IABP-supported patients were among those with the lowest Status 2 waitlist mortality risk and comparable to Status 3 inotrope-supported patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-376
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • heart allocation
  • intra-aortic balloon pump
  • temporary mechanical circulatory support
  • waitlist survival


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