Background: Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are being used more frequently for treating refractory, advanced heart failure. However, infection remains a frequent complication. In this study, we analyzed the incidence of severe infections in LVAD recipients to determine its impact on survival. Methods: From May 2009 through March 2016, 437 patients with advanced heart failure underwent implantation of a continuous-flow LVAD (n = 314, HeartMate II LVAD [Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL]; n = 123 HeartWare HVAD [Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN]). We analyzed the rate of severe device infection requiring surgical intervention or involving sepsis and the impact of severe infection on outcomes in patients on long-term LVAD support. Results: Infection occurred in 244 patients (HeartMate II, n = 186; HVAD, n = 58); severe infections developed in 160 patients (HeartMate II, n = 119; HVAD, n = 41). HeartMate II recipients had 344 severe infection events (0.63 events per patient-year [EPPY]), whereas HeartWare recipients had 89 severe infection events (0.42 EPPY; P = 0.047). HeartMate II recipients had a higher incidence of pump infections (P < 0.001). Severe infections did not significantly affect survival (P = 0.42). Conclusions: Although HeartMate II patients had a significantly higher incidence of pump infections requiring surgical treatment, survival was not adversely affected. The difference in postoperative infection rates may be an important factor in device type selection.
- circulatory support devices
- heart failure
- left ventricular assist device
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine