Background Implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) provide a significant mortality benefit for appropriately selected patients with advanced heart failure. ICDs are associated with a mortality benefit when used in patients with a pulsatile left ventricular assist device (LVAD). It is unclear whether patients with a continuous-flow LVAD (CF-LVAD) derive the same benefit. We sought to determine if the presence of an ICD provided a mortality benefit during CF-LVAD support as a bridge to transplantation. Methods Patients were identified in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) registry who underwent LVAD implantation as bridge to transplantation between May 2004 and April 2014, with follow-up through June 2014. Primary outcome was freedom from death while on CF-LVAD support with adjustment for complications requiring UNOS listing status upgrade. Secondary end-points included freedom from delisting while on CF-LVAD support and incidence of transplantation. Results The study cohort comprised 2,990 patients, and propensity score matching identified 1,012 patients with similar propensity scores. There was no difference in survival during device support between patients with and without an ICD (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.66–2.17; p = 0.55). Adjusting for device complications requiring a UNOS listing status upgrade had minimal influence (HR = 1.11; 95% CI, 0.60–2.05; p = 0.74). There was no increased risk of delisting owing to being too sick for patients with an ICD (HR = 1.08; 95% CI, 0.63–1.86; p = 0.78). Likewise, the probability of transplantation was similar (HR = 1.05; 95% CI, 0.87–1.27; p = 0.62). Conclusions Among patients bridged to transplantation with a CF-LVAD, the presence of an ICD did not reduce mortality.
- cardiac transplant
- congestive heart failure