Primary graft dysfunction (PGD) is a potentially devastating complication of heart transplantation. Understanding the risk factors for PGD in the modern era of heart transplantation is of vital importance. This study investigated the relationship between post-left ventricular assist device (LVAD) right heart failure (RHF) and transplant outcomes. Patients with durable, continuous-flow LVADs who were transplanted between 2010 and 2016 at Barnes-Jewish Hospital were included in the study. Data collection was performed through retrospective chart review. The primary outcome was the incidence of PGD stratified by pretransplant incidence of RHF while on LVAD support. Among the 141 patients included in the study, 41 developed RHF. In the RHF cohort, 18 patients developed PGD as compared to 14 patients in the group without RHF (44% vs. 14%; p < 0.001). Mortality was significantly higher in the RHF group at 30 days (20% vs. 1%; p < 0.001) and 1 year (22% vs. 6%; p = 0.013). In a multivariable logistic regression model adjusted for confounding variables, RHF was associated with a nearly fourfold increased risk of PGD (odds ratio, 3.91; p = 0.003). The results of this study show that patients supported with LVADs who develop early severe RHF or late RHF are at increased risk of PGD and death following cardiac transplantation.
- heart failure