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Left ventricular assist devices: a kidney’s perspective

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      Abstract

      The left ventricular assist device (LVAD) has become an established treatment option for patients with refractory heart failure. Many of these patients experience chronic kidney disease (CKD) due to chronic cardiorenal syndrome type II, which is often alleviated quickly following LVAD implantation. Nevertheless, reversibility of CKD remains difficult to predict. Interestingly, initial recovery of GFR appears to be transient, being followed by gradual but significant late decline. Nevertheless, GFR often remains elevated compared to preimplant status. Larger GFR increases are followed by a proportionally larger late decline. Several explanations for this gradual decline in renal function after LVAD therapy have been proposed, yet a definitive answer remains elusive. Mortality predictors of LVAD implantation are the occurrence of either postimplantation acute kidney injury (AKI) or preimplant CKD. However, patient outcomes continue to improve as LVAD therapy becomes more widespread, and adverse events including AKI appear to decline. In light of a growing destination therapy population, it is important to understand the cumulative effects of long-term LVAD support on kidney function. Additional research and passage of time are required to further unravel the intricate relationships between the LVAD and the kidney.

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      Most cited references 129

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        Epidemiology of heart failure.

        Heart failure (HF) has been singled out as an epidemic and is a staggering clinical and public health problem, associated with significant mortality, morbidity, and healthcare expenditures, particularly among those aged ≥ 65 years. The case mix of HF is changing over time with a growing proportion of cases presenting with preserved ejection fraction for which there is no specific treatment. Despite progress in reducing HF-related mortality, hospitalizations for HF remain frequent and rates of readmissions continue to rise. To prevent hospitalizations, a comprehensive characterization of predictors of readmission in patients with HF is imperative and must integrate the impact of multimorbidity related to coexisting conditions. New models of patient-centered care that draw on community-based resources to support HF patients with complex coexisting conditions are needed to decrease hospitalizations.
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          Long-term use of a left ventricular assist device for end-stage heart failure.

          Implantable left ventricular assist devices have benefited patients with end-stage heart failure as a bridge to cardiac transplantation, but their long-term use for the purpose of enhancing survival and the quality of life has not been evaluated. We randomly assigned 129 patients with end-stage heart failure who were ineligible for cardiac transplantation to receive a left ventricular assist device (68 patients) or optimal medical management (61). All patients had symptoms of New York Heart Association class IV heart failure. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a reduction of 48 percent in the risk of death from any cause in the group that received left ventricular assist devices as compared with the medical-therapy group (relative risk, 0.52; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.34 to 0.78; P=0.001). The rates of survival at one year were 52 percent in the device group and 25 percent in the medical-therapy group (P=0.002), and the rates at two years were 23 percent and 8 percent (P=0.09), respectively. The frequency of serious adverse events in the device group was 2.35 (95 percent confidence interval, 1.86 to 2.95) times that in the medical-therapy group, with a predominance of infection, bleeding, and malfunction of the device. The quality of life was significantly improved at one year in the device group. The use of a left ventricular assist device in patients with advanced heart failure resulted in a clinically meaningful survival benefit and an improved quality of life. A left ventricular assist device is an acceptable alternative therapy in selected patients who are not candidates for cardiac transplantation.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [ ]University Medical Center Utrecht, POB 85500, 3508 GA Utrecht, The Netherlands
            [ ]Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
            [ ]Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
            Contributors
            0031 6 30232541 , T.R.T.M.Tromp@students.uu.nl
            Journal
            Heart Fail Rev
            Heart Fail Rev
            Heart Failure Reviews
            Springer US (New York )
            1382-4147
            1573-7322
            22 March 2015
            22 March 2015
            2015
            : 20
            : 4
            : 519-532
            25796403 4464048 9481 10.1007/s10741-015-9481-z
            © The Author(s) 2015

            Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.

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            © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

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