BACKGROUND: Conventional median sternotomy (CMS) is still the standard technique utilized to implant left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). Recent studies suggest that less invasive surgery (LIS) may be beneficial; however, robust data on differences in right heart failure (RHF) are lacking. This study aimed to determine the impact of LIS compared with that of CMS on RHF outcomes after LVAD implantation. METHODS: An international multicenter retrospective cohort study was conducted across 5 centers. Patients were grouped according to their implantation technique (LIS vs CMS). Only centrifugal devices were included. RHF was defined as severe or severe acute RHF according to the 2013 Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) definition. Logistic multivariate regression and propensity score‒matched analyses were performed to account for confounding. RESULTS: Overall, 427 implantations occurred during the study period, with 305 patients implanted using CMS and 122 using LIS. Pre-operative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) use was more common in the CMS group; off-pump implantation was more common in the LIS group. Other pre-implant variables, including age, creatinine, hemodynamics, and tricuspid regurgitation, did not differ between the 2 groups. Post-operative RHF was less common in the patients who underwent LIS than in those who underwent CMS as was post-operative right ventricular assist device (RVAD) use. LIS remained associated with less RHF in the multivariate analysis. After propensity score matching conditional for age, sex, INTERMACS profile, ECMO, and IABP use in a ratio of 2:1 (CMS to LIS), RHF (29.9% vs 18.6%, p = 0.001) and the need for post-operative RVAD (18.6% vs 8.2%; p = 0.009) remained more common in the CMS group than in the LIS group. There were no significant differences in survival up to 1 year between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: LIS may be associated with less RHF after LVAD implantation compared with CMS. Despite the possible reduction in RHF, there was no difference in 1-year survival. LIS is an alternative to traditional CMS.

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The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Saeed, D. (Diyar), Muslem, R., Rasheed, M. (Moniba), Caliskan, K., Kalampokas, N. (Nikolaos), Sipahi, F. (Firat), … Tedford, R. (2021). Less invasive surgical implant strategy and right heart failure after LVAD implantation. The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. doi:10.1016/j.healun.2021.01.005