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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2012 May;23(5):515-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.2011.02223.x. Epub 2011 Nov 14.

Risk of mortality for ventricular arrhythmia in ambulatory LVAD patients.

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Cardiology Division, Department of Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.



There are limited data regarding the incidence and prognostic significance of ventricular arrhythmias (VA) in ambulatory continuous flow left ventricular assist device (LVAD) patients.


Sixty-one consecutive patients from November 1, 2006 through December 31, 2010 with an LVAD and implantable cardioverter defibrillator that survived to discharge from the LVAD implantation admission were studied. Follow-up began from date of discharge with both devices in situ and ended with death, transplant, on June 1, 2011. Pre-LVAD VA history was related to the primary endpoints of post-LVAD VA, mortality, and the combined endpoint of post-LVAD VA/mortality.


During a mean follow-up of 622 days 19 patients (31%) experienced VA (14 episodes of VT, 5 episodes of VF). Pre-LVAD VA was predictive of post-LVAD VA (hazard ratio [HR] 2.91, P = 0.026) and the combined post-LVAD VA/mortality endpoint (HR 2.70, P = 0.021) but only displayed a nonsignificant association with mortality (HR 2.30, P = 0.11). In multivariate analysis, pre-LVAD VA remained a significant predictor of post-LVAD VA (HR 2.84, P = 0.03) and the combined post-LVAD VA/mortality endpoint (HR 2.65, P = 0.025). Post-LVAD VA was the strongest univariate predictor of mortality (HR 13.92, P < 0.001) and remained so after multivariate adjustment (HR 9.69, P = 0.001). Post-LVAD VA occurred at a mean of 1 year from mortality events with 45% within 1 month.


Pre-LVAD VA is a significant predictor of post-LVAD VA but not of mortality. VA in the continuous flow LVAD population carries a significant risk of mortality often within the first month.

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