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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2018 Nov;156(5):1885-1891. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2018.04.094. Epub 2018 May 1.

Clinical experience with temporary right ventricular mechanical circulatory support.

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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Iowa Health Care, Iowa City, Iowa. Electronic address:
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Heart and Vascular Institute, Artificial Heart Program, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa.
Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans, La.



This study sought to determine if indication for support affects the outcomes after temporary right ventricular mechanical circulatory support after postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock, cardiac transplant, or left ventricular assist device placement.


A retrospective review was performed on 80 patients receiving a right ventricular assist device. Data were collected from a prospectively maintained database. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was performed to compare survival between groups. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors for failure to wean from support.


The indication for support was postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock in 13 patients (16%), cardiac transplant in 25 patients (31%), and left ventricular assist device in 42 patients (53%). Median support time was 6 days. Device was successfully weaned in 6 postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock cases (46%), 21 cardiac transplant cases (84%), and 35 left ventricular assist device cases (83%). Survival was worse for patients with postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock compared with patients with a left ventricular assist device. Survival up to 3 months was better for patients who received immediate (n = 43) versus delayed (n = 37) support (79% vs 46%, P = .003). Weaning and survival remained static across implant era. Risk factor analysis identified postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock indication (odds ratio, 0.161; P = .007; confidence interval, 0.043-0.600) as an independent negative predictor of weaning from mechanical support.


Temporary right ventricular mechanical support remains an effective treatment strategy after left ventricular assist device placement with immediate support resulting in superior short-term survival. Caution should be applied in postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock when weaning and survival are poor. Overall survival outcomes have remained relatively static over time.


CentriMag; LVAD; MCS; RVF; cardiogenic shock; heart transplant

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