Article Abstract

Development of tricuspid regurgitation and right ventricular performance after implantation of centrifugal left ventricular assist devices

Johanna Mulzer, Hristo Krastev, Christoph Hoermandinger, Alexander Meyer, Thomas Haese, Julia Stein, Marcus Müller, Felix Schoenrath, Christoph Knosalla, Christoph Starck, Volkmar Falk, Evgenij Potapov, Jan Knierim


Background: Tricuspid regurgitation (TR) after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation is associated with a poor prognosis. This study evaluates the development of TR and right ventricular (RV) performance after LVAD implantation.
Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients who underwent LVAD implantation between March 2018 and June 2019. Patients who underwent concomitant tricuspid valve surgery and patients with congenital heart disease were excluded.
Results: A total of 155 patients underwent LVAD implantation. Fourteen patients were excluded. Of the remaining patients, thirty-one died during the first six months, six were lost to follow-up and two underwent transplantation. 102 patients presented at 6.3 months (5.8 to 7.0). Patients were supported with HeartWare HVAD (74%) or HeartMate 3 (26%). 50.4% were rated as INTERMACS profile 1 or 2. At six months, systolic pulmonary artery pressure dropped from 36 to 21 mmHg (P<0.001). Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion decreased from 17.3 to 14.3 mm (P<0.001), RV fractional area change did not change (P=0.839). Twenty-two patients (22%) presented with moderate-to-severe or severe (ms-s) TR pre-operatively. Of these, eighteen (81%) showed improvement to ≤ moderate TR. At follow-up twelve patients presented with ms-s TR. Of these, only four patients (33%) had been diagnosed with ms-s TR pre-operatively. There were no differences in pre-operative echocardiographic or clinical parameters between the twelve patients with ms-s late TR and the other ninety patients in the cohort.
Conclusions: TR can show an impressive improvement with LVAD support. Longitudinal RV function decreases; this appears to be compensated by transverse shortening. Late TR can develop independently from pre-operative parameters including TR.


Cover Image