Left ventricular assist device recovery: does duration of mechanical support matter?
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Heart failure is a widespread condition in the United States that is predicted to significantly increase in prevalence in the next decade. Many heart failure patients are given a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) while they wait for a heart transplant, while those that are not able to undergo a heart transplant may be given an LVAD permanently. However, past studies have observed a small subset of heart failure patients that recovered cardiac function of their native heart after being placed on an LVAD. As a result, some patients have been able to have their LVAD explanted and no longer needed a heart transplant. In this review, we analyzed the data of 15 studies that observed recovery of cardiac function in LVAD patients in order to investigate the effects that duration of LVAD support has on patient outcomes. From our review, we identified that there may be negative consequences of prolonged duration of mechanical support such as myocardial atrophy and abnormal calcium cycling as well as circumstances that may allow for a longer duration of LVAD support such as in patients using a continuous-flow LVAD, non-ischemic cardiomyopathy patients, and the specific pharmacological therapy.
KeywordsHeart failure LVAD Reverse remodeling Cardiac recovery
Compliance with ethical standards
For this type of study (meta-analysis), formal consent is not required.
Conflicts of interest
Mr. Binh Pham has no conflict of interest or financial ties to disclose. Dr. Sandra Chaparro has received research grants from Abbott, Amgen, Mesoblast, and Medtronic.
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