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Ventricular Devices Increase Post-Transplant Mortality

Mortality increased during first six months after transplant and after five years

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Ventricular assist devices (VADs) used as a bridge to heart transplantation increase post-transplant mortality, researchers report in the Jan. 20 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Vishnu Patlolla, M.D., from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass., and colleagues compared post-transplant mortality in 1,433 adult patients bridged with an intracorporeal VAD, 448 patients bridged with an extracorporeal VAD, and 9,455 patients not bridged with a VAD at heart transplantation.

For intracorporeal VADs, the researchers found a higher risk of death during the first six months (hazard ratio, 1.20) and after five years (HR, 1.99). For extracorporeal VADs, the risk was also higher during the first six months (HR, 1.91) and beyond five years (HR, 2.93), but lower between 24 and 36 months (HR, 0.23), the report indicates.

"These data do not provide evidence supporting VAD implantation in stable United Network for Organ Sharing status I patients awaiting heart transplantation," Patlolla and colleagues conclude.

The author of an accompanying editorial reports a financial relationship with Thoratec Corp., and Heartware.

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