Should women receive left ventricular assist device support? findings from INTERMACS

Eileen M. Hsich*, David C. Naftel, Susan L. Myers, Eiran Z. Gorodeski, Kathleen L. Grady, Darlene Schmuhl, Karen L. Ulisney, James B. Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Background-Small studies have reported women to have worse outcomes and more adverse events after implantation of mechanical circulatory support device compared with men. To further evaluate sex differences in outcome, we used the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS). Methods and Results-There were 401 women (pulsatile devices78) and 1535 men (pulsatile devices402) from 89 institutions who were prospectively enrolled into the INTERMACS database for primary implantation of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) between June 23, 2006, and March 31, 2010. Extensive preimplantation and outcome data were collected on all patients. With a mean follow-up of 7 months, 67 females (17%) died and 250 males (16%) died. There was no statistically significant sex difference in mortality for either pulsatile-flow (P0.82) or continuous-flow (P0.95) devices in adjusted and unadjusted models. There were also no statistically significant sex differences with time to first infection, bleeding, or device malfunction. However, female sex was associated with an increased hazard of first neurological event (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.05-1.96; P0.020). Conclusions-There were no significant sex differences in mortality, time to first infection, bleeding, or device malfunction with either pulsatile- or continuous-flow LVADs. However, women had an increased risk of first neurological event. For urgent/emergent mechanical support, the benefit of LVAD support likely outweighs the risk, but it remains less clear for women undergoing elective LVAD implantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-240
Number of pages7
JournalCirculation: Heart Failure
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Heart failure
  • Heart-assist device
  • Prognosis
  • Sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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