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Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Apr;95(4):1276-81. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.12.039. Epub 2013 Mar 5.

Readmissions after ventricular assist device: etiologies, patterns, and days out of hospital.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.



Scarce literature exists describing the patterns of readmission after continuous flow left ventricular assist device (CF-LVAD) implantation. These carry significant cost and quality of life implications. We sought to describe the etiology and pattern of readmission among patients receiving CF-LVADs.


Frequency, reason, urgency, and duration of readmission as well as freedom from readmission were examined in a retrospective review of our institutional experience. As an indirect means of quality of life, the ratio of days out of hospital (OOH)/days alive with device was calculated.


From 2006 to 2011, 71 adult patients implanted with a CF device were included. Indication for device implantation was bridge to transplant (n=19), potential bridge to transplant (n=25), or destination therapy (n=27). Length of support averaged 359 days. Total support time was 69.7 patient years. One hundred fifty-five readmissions accounted for a total of 1,659 hospital days. Fifty-six patients were readmitted during the study period. Median time to first readmission was 48 days (range 2 to 663 days). Median length of stay was 5 days. The single most common etiology for readmission was gastrointestinal bleeding accounting for 14% of readmissions. Readmissions were urgent (87%), elective (10%), or life-threatening (3%). Patients on the average enjoyed 92% of their time OOH.


Patients undergoing CF-LVAD support are often readmitted within 6 months of discharge. Readmissions tend to be of short duration and the most common reason is for gastrointestinal bleeding. Importantly, following discharge after implant procedure, 51 patients spent at least 90% of days OOH.

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