The Effect Of Infectious Complications During Ventricular Assist Device Use On Outcomes Of Pediatric Heart Transplantation

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ASAIO Journal


To describe the impact of infectious adverse events (IAEs) during ventricular assist device (VAD) support on graft loss, infection, and rejection after pediatric heart transplant (HT). Pedimacs data were linked to Pediatric Heart Transplant Society (PHTS) data for patients receiving a VAD followed by HT between September 2012 and December 2016. Linked patients were categorized into IAE on VAD (group A) and no IAE on VAD (group B). Infectious adverse event locations included nondevice, device (external or internal), and sepsis. Post-HT outcomes for analysis were graft loss, infection, and rejection. Time-dependent analysis included Kaplan-Meier and multiphase parametric hazard function analysis. We linked 207 patients (age 9.4 ± 6.3 years). Post-HT follow-up was 19.4 patient-months (years). Group A included 42 patients (20%) with 62 IAEs. Group B included 165 patients without an IAE. Group A patients were younger (7.4 ± 6.1 vs. 9.5 ± 6.3 years; p = 0.03), waited longer for HT (5.3 ± 4.1 vs. 2.9 ± 2.5 months; p = 0.0005), and were hospitalized longer post-HT (42 ± 59 vs. 23 ± 22 days; p = 0.05). VAD-related IAEs were rare (N = 11). Groups A and B had similar freedom from first post-HT infection, rejection, and graft loss (all p > 0.1). However, patients with VAD-related IAE were somewhat more likely to experience rejection (p = 0.03) and graft loss (p = 0.01). Children with an IAE on VAD who survive to HT are younger, wait longer for HT, and remain hospitalized longer than those without an IAE on VAD. Overall, IAE on VAD did not impact post-HT outcomes, but VAD-related IAE may be associated with graft loss and rejection.

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