Article Title

Observations from non-invasive measures of right heart hemodynamics in left ventricular assist device patients


Background: Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) reduce pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) in patients with severe heart failure. The aim of this study was to noninvasively assess the effect of LVAD implantation on PVR and right-heart function.

Methods: In 21 patients with HeartMate II LVADs, serial echocardiograms were reviewed prior to implantation and 1 and 6 months after implantation. Echocardiographic and Doppler indices of right-heart structure and function were measured along with LVAD settings, hemodynamics, and biochemistry, and the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire (MLHFQ) and 6-minute walk test were administered.

Results: Comparing values before and 1 month after implantation, there were reductions in PVR (3.51 ± 0.9 vs 2.0 ± 0.5 Wood units, P < .0001), right ventricular (RV) systolic pressure (49 ± 11 vs 34 ± 7 mm Hg, P < .0001), and tricuspid regurgitation severity, with no change in RV size, RV fractional area change, or tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion. Patients with larger PVR reductions had better clinical status (MLHFQ score, 28 ± 12 vs 60 ± 29, P = .04; 6-minute walking distance, 1706 ± 71 vs 1141 ± 387 ft, P = .04). Patients with significant deteriorations in RV function had poorer clinical status (MLHFQ score, 79 ± 13 vs 51 ± 27, P = .04; 6-minute walking distance, 480 ± 275 vs 1030 ± 437 ft, P = .04).

Conclusions: Echocardiographically detected changes in right-heart hemodynamics were associated with symptomatic status after LVAD implantation.



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