Association between continuous-flow left ventricular assist device infections requiring long-term antibiotic use and post-heart transplant morbidity and mortality

Lambadaris M., Vishram-Nielsen J. K. K., Amadio J. M., Husain S., Rao V., Billia F., ...More

Journal of Cardiac Surgery, vol.37, no.1, pp.96-104, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/jocs.16073
  • Journal Name: Journal of Cardiac Surgery
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.96-104
  • Keywords: heart failure, heart transplantation, left ventricular assist device
  • TED University Affiliated: No


© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLCBackground and Aim of Study: There exists controversy regarding the impact of infection in patients with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) on post-heart transplant outcomes. This study evaluated the association between infections during LVAD support and the risk of early and late post-heart transplant infection, rejection, and mortality in transplant recipients bridged with an LVAD. Methods: This is a single-center retrospective observational cohort study of consecutive adults supported with a continuous flow LVAD undergoing heart transplant between 2006 and 2019 at the Toronto General Hospital. The grade of LVAD infection was classified as per International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation guidelines. Patients were divided into three groups: (1) patients with LVAD-specific infection confirmed with positive cultures requiring long-term antibiotic use until the time of transplant; (2) patients with any type of infection in whom antibiotics were stopped at least 1 month before transplant; (3) patients without any infections between LVAD implant and transplant. Logistic regression and Cox proportional hazard models were used to evaluate early- and late-post transplant outcomes, respectively. Results: We included 75 LVAD recipients: 16 (21%) patients had a chronic LVAD-related infection on suppressive antibiotics, 30 (40%) had a resolved infection, and 29 (39%) had no infections. During a median post-transplant follow-up time of 4 (2 to 7) years, 65 (87%) patients developed infections, 43 (64%) rejections, and 17 (23%) deaths. Both short- and long-term risks of infection, rejection, and mortality did not differ significantly among the groups. Conclusion: LVAD patients with infections did not have a significantly higher risk of infection, rejection, or mortality at any time point after transplant.