Risk of Liver Dysfunction After Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation

Andrew N. Rosenbaum, Bradley W. Ternus, Siddharth Pahwa, John M. Stulak, Alfredo L. Clavell, Sarah D. Schettle, Atta Behfar, Jacob C. Jentzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Incident liver dysfunction after left ventricular assist device implantation has been previously associated with adverse outcomes, yet data on perioperative risk markers are sparse. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed consecutive patients undergoing continuous-flow left ventricular assist device implant between 2007 and 2017 at a single institution. Perioperative variables were evaluated by univariate modeling and adjusted for false discovery rate. Variables most significantly associated with incident Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support-defined liver dysfunction (INT-LD) were evaluated using logistic regression and optimal cutpoints were defined. One-year survival was evaluated using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Results: We included 359 patients (79% male; mean age 59 ± 13 years; 46% ischemic; 64% destination therapy). Lower right ventricular stroke work index at the time of right heart catheterization, higher right atrial pressure 6 hours after right heart catheterization, higher preoperative total bilirubin, longer cardiopulmonary bypass time, and greater volume of intraoperative ultrafiltration were most strongly associated with incident INT-LD (adjusted P <.01 for each). Initial right ventricular stroke work index less than 460 mm Hg∗mL/m2 (odds ratio [OR] 4.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.3 to 9.4), 6-hour right heart catheterization 14 mm Hg or greater (OR 4.3; 95% CI, 2.1 to 8.8), cardiopulmonary bypass time longer than 137 minutes (OR 3.3; 95% CI, 1.8 to 6.2; P <.01 for all), ultrafiltration more than 2.95 L (OR 3.7; 95% CI, 2 to 6.8), and total bilirubin greater than 1.4 mg/dL (OR 2.7; 95% CI, 1.4 to 5) were each strongly associated with risk of INT-LD, which was associated with decreased unadjusted 1-year survival (P <.001). Conclusions: Right ventricular stroke work index, right heart catheterization, cardiopulmonary bypass time, and ultrafiltration were each more strongly associated with elevated risk of INT-LD after left ventricular assist device implant than total bilirubin. Therefore, optimization of right ventricular hemodynamics and minimizing cardiopulmonary bypass time and ultrafiltration could potentially reduce the risk of liver dysfunction, but these observations require prospective validation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1961-1967
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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