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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007 Aug 21;50(8):741-7. Epub 2007 Aug 6.

Chronic mechanical circulatory support for inotrope-dependent heart failure patients who are not transplant candidates: results of the INTrEPID Trial.

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  • 1Cardiovascular Medicine Division, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, USA.



This study evaluated the impact of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support on survival and quality of life in inotrope-dependent heart failure patients ineligible for cardiac transplantation.


The role for LVADs as a bridge to cardiac transplantation has been established, but data supporting their role as permanent therapy in nontransplant candidates are limited.


The INTrEPID (Investigation of Nontransplant-Eligible Patients Who Are Inotrope Dependent) trial was a prospective, nonrandomized clinical trial comparing LVAD with optimal medical therapy (OMT). Fifty-five patients with New York Heart Association functional class IV symptoms who failed weaning from inotropic support were offered a Novacor LVAD. Eighteen of these patients did not receive an LVAD owing to patient preference (n = 14) or unavailability of the device (n = 4) but consented to follow-up and constitute a contemporaneous control group.


The LVAD and OMT patients were well matched for demographic and disease severity measures, except OMT patients had a lower mean serum sodium (128 mg/dl vs. 134 mg/dl; p = 0.001) and a higher mean blood urea nitrogen concentration (59 vs. 40; p = 0.02). The LVAD-treated patients had superior survival rates at 6 months (46% vs. 22%; p = 0.03) and 12 months (27% vs. 11%; p = 0.02). Adverse event rates were higher in the OMT group. Eighty-five percent of the LVAD-treated patients had minimal or no heart failure symptoms. Five LVAD patients and 1 OMT patient improved sufficiently while on therapy to qualify for cardiac transplantation.


Inotrope-dependent heart failure patients who are ineligible for transplantation have a high short-term mortality rate and derive a significant survival advantage from "destination" mechanical circulatory support.

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