We aimed to describe the natural history of left ventricular assist device (LVAD)-supported patients with preimplantation significant tricuspid regurgitation (TR) in a single-center retrospective analysis of LVAD-implanted patients (2008-2019). TR severity was assessed semiqualitatively using color-Doppler flow: insignificant TR (iTR) was defined as none/mild TR and significant TR (sTR) as ≥moderate TR. Included were 121 LVAD-supported patients of which 53% (n = 64) demonstrated sTR preimplantation. Among patients with pre-LVAD implantation sTR and available echocardiographic data, 55% (n = 26) ameliorated their TR severity grade to iTR during the first-year postsurgery and 55% (n = 17) had iTR at 2-year follow-up. On univariate analysis, predictors for TR severity improvement post-LVAD implantation were preimplant lack of atrial fibrillation, reduced inferior vena cavae diameter, and elevated pulmonary vascular resistance. In patients who failed to improve their TR severity grade, we observed a deterioration in right ventricular (RV) function (pulmonary artery pressure index 2.0 [1.7, 2.9], a decline in RV work index 242 [150, 471] mm Hg·L/m2) and higher loop-diuretics dose requirement. At a median of 21 (IQR 8, 40) months follow-up, clinical LVAD-related complications, heart failure-hospitalizations, and overall survival were similar among patients who improved versus failed to improve their TR severity-grade post-LVAD implantation. In conclusion, LVAD implantation is accompanied by a reduction in TR severity in approximately 50% of patients. In patients who failed to improve their TR severity grade, progressive RV dysfunction was observed. Overall, an isolated LVAD implantation in patients with sTR does not adversely affect survival.
- heart failure
- left ventricular assist devices
- right ventricular failure
- tricuspid regurgitation