Changes in disease-specific versus generic health status measures after left ventricular assist device implantation: Insights from INTERMACS

Michael E. Nassif, John A. Spertus, Philip G. Jones, Timothy J. Fendler, Larry A. Allen, Kathleen L. Grady, Suzanne V. Arnold*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background Quantifying quality of life (QoL) after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) remains challenging. Heart failure (HF)-specific health status measures are ideal for assessing symptoms of HF; however, if patients’ QoL is limited by other factors, they may experience improved HF-specific QoL but no concurrent improvement in generic QoL. We sought to examine and predict discrepancies between disease-specific and generic QoL measures after LVAD. Methods We examined HF-specific and generic QoL with the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) and EuroQol-5D Visual Analog Scale (VAS), respectively, among 1,888 patients with advanced heart failure who underwent LVAD implantation from 2012 to 2014 as part of the INTERMACS registry. Results Both measures showed substantial improvement, on average, at 6 months after LVAD, with mean changes of 32.7 ± 25.0 and 27.6 ± 27.4, respectively. Among the 1,539 patients (81.5%) with moderate/large improvement in KCCQ, 334 (21.7%) had discordant changes in generic QoL (i.e., VAS did not substantially increase despite improvement in KCCQ). In a multivariable logistic regression model, baseline VAS score was the strongest predictor of KCCQ-VAS discordance, whereas post-LVAD complications were not significant predictors of discordance. Conclusions Most patients have major improvements in both HF-specific and generic QoL after LVAD implantation, and discordance in these measures after LVAD is uncommon. When it did occur, discordance was primarily observed in patients who reported good generic QoL on the VAS before LVAD (despite substantial impairment due to congestive HF). These results support the continued use of HF-specific health status measures to monitor QoL before and after LVAD implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1243-1249
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • health status
  • heart failure
  • outcomes
  • quality of life
  • ventricular assist devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation


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