Clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients requiring prolonged inotropes after left ventricular assist device implantation

Academic Article


  • Limited data exist regarding patients with continuous-flow left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support who require long-term inotropes. Our primary objective was to evaluate the clinical characteristics and all-cause mortality of LVAD recipients with prolonged inotrope use (PIU). Secondary endpoints were to compare predictors of PIU, mortality, risk of late re-initiation of inotropes, time to gastrointestinal bleed (GIB), infection, and arrhythmias. Retrospective cohort study was conducted on adult patients with primary continuous-flow LVADs implanted from January 2008 to February 2017 and the patients were followed up through February 2018. We defined PIU as ≥14 days of inotrope support. Kaplan–Meier method, competing risk models and Cox proportional hazard models were used. Final analytic sample was 203 patients, 58% required PIU, and 10% were discharged on inotropes. There was no difference in preimplant characteristics. One-year survival rate was 87% if no PIU required, 74% if PIU required, and 72% if discharged on inotropes. PIU was associated with longer length of stay and higher incidence of GIB. We found no association between PIU and late re-initiation of inotropes, infection or arrhythmias. Adjusted hazard risk of death was increased in patients with PIU (HR = 1.66, P =.046), older age (HR = 1.28, P =.031), and higher creatinine levels (HR = 1.60, P =.007). Prolonged inotrope use is frequently encountered following LVAD implantation and is associated with adverse prognosis but remains a therapeutic option. Inability to wean inotropes prior to hospital discharge is a marker of patients at particularly higher risk of mortality following LVAD implantation.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cruz Rodriguez JB; Stewart GC; Pamboukian SV; Tallaj JA; Rajapreyar I; Kirklin JK; Holman WL; Hoopes CW; Mukherjee D; Mallawaarachchi I
  • Start Page

  • E382
  • End Page

  • E393
  • Volume

  • 44
  • Issue

  • 10