Background: Outcomes have improved in patients bridged to heart transplant on contemporary continuous-flow ventricular assist devices over the past decade. We evaluated mechanical circulatory support as a means to bridge patients to cardiac retransplantation. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 464 patients who underwent cardiac retransplant from the United Network for Organ Sharing database between January 2006 and November 2016. Pre- and post-transplant data were compared between patients bridged to retransplant with mechanical circulatory support (n = 81) and those without mechanical circulatory support (n = 383). Results: The mean ages for the patients in the mechanical circulatory support and nonmechanical circulatory support cohorts were 41.2 ± 16 years and 42.1 ± 15.7 years, respectively (P = .64). Patients bridged with mechanical circulatory support were placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n = 29, 35.8%), a total artificial heart (n = 13, 16.0%), or a temporary or durable ventricular assist device (n = 39, 48.1%). Twelve patients (14.8%) were placed on a second device before retransplant. Thirty-nine percent of the mechanical circulatory support group were indicated for listing because of primary graft dysfunction or acute rejection versus 6% of the nonmechanical circulatory support group (P < .01). Likewise, 30% of patients in the mechanical circulatory support group were listed for cardiac allograft vasculopathy compared with 59% of the nonmechanical circulatory support group (P < .01). Thirty-day mortality was significantly higher in the mechanical circulatory support group (17.8% vs 4.8%, P < .01). However, patients who were bridged with a ventricular assist device or total artificial heart had comparable midterm outcomes to the nonmechanical circulatory support group. Conclusions: Patients who require mechanical circulatory support bridge to retransplantation belong to a high-risk cohort. Comparable midterm outcomes to the nonmechanical circulatory support cohort were demonstrated when patients' conditions allow for bridge with a ventricular assist device or total artificial heart. Bridging to retransplantation with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation remains a relative contraindication.
- bridge to transplant
- mechanical circulatory support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine