Background Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) improve survival, quality of life (QOL), and functional capacity (FC) among patients with end-stage heart failure. Few data are available regarding characteristics associated with QOL and FC response. Methods and Results Patients enrolled in the Heartmate II clinical trials that were alive with ongoing LVAD support at 6 months were included. QOL response criteria included scoring above the lowest quartile on either the Minnesota Living With Heart Failure Questionnaire or the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire. FC responder criteria included improvement in 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) >70 meters from baseline, a 6MWD >220 meters at 6 months, or New York Heart Association functional class I or II. Independent variables associated with QOL nonresponse included history of diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 1.82, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20–2.78), lower mean pulmonary arterial pressure (OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.95–0.99), or a Heartmate II right ventricular risk score >2 (OR 1.77, 95% CI 1.00–3.12). Variables associated with FC nonresponse included history of COPD (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.22–3.03) or diabetes (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.01–2.27). Compared with responders, QOL and FC nonresponders had reduced long-term survival. Conclusions Preoperative comorbidities, including diabetes, COPD, and right heart failure, may limit the QOL and FC response to LVAD therapy and should be considered during the shared decision-making process.
- Left ventricular assist device
- exercise tolerance
- functional capacity
- heart failure
- quality of life
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine