Cedars A, Tecson KM, Zaidi AN, Lorts A, McCullough PA.ASAIO J. 2020 May;66(5):513-519. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000001041.PMID: 31335373
The number of congenital heart disease (CHD) patients with heart failure is expanding. These patients have a high probability of dying while awaiting heart transplant. The potential for durable ventricular assist devices (VAD) to improve waiting list survival in CHD is unknown. We conducted an analysis of the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients database for the primary outcome of death or delisting due to clinical worsening while listed for heart transplant. We compared CHD patients with non-CHD patients matched for listing status. Multivariable models were constructed to account for confounding variables. Congenital heart disease patients were less likely to have a VAD and were more likely to experience the primary outcome of death or delisting due to clinical worsening compared to non-CHD patients. Ventricular assist devices decreased the probability of experiencing the primary outcome for non-CHD but not for CHD patients with a final listing status of 1A. Ventricular assist devices increased the probability of experiencing the primary outcome among CHD patients for those with a final listing status of 1B with no impact in non-CHD patients. Among non-CHD patients who died or were delisted, the time to the primary outcome was delayed by VAD, with a similar trend in CHD. Except for patients with a final listing status of 1B, VAD does not adversely affect waiting list outcomes in CHD patients listed for heart transplant. Ventricular assist devices may prolong waiting list survival among high-risk CHD patients.