Evolution of Biventricular Loading Condition in Pediatric LVAD Patient: A Prospective and Observational Study

Arianna Di Molfetta, Roberta Iacobelli, Sergio Filippelli, Giorgia Grutter, Gianluigi Perri, Francesca Iodice, Luciano Pasquini, Paolo Guccione, Antonio Amodeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to describe the echocardiographic trend of left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) function after implantation of a pulsatile flow left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in children. From 2013 to 2016, we prospectively evaluated 13 consecutive pediatric Berlin Heart EXCOR LVAD patients. Clinical and echocardiographic data were collected at baseline, within 24 h after implantation and monthly until LVAD explant. Median age and weight at the implantation was 8 (4-23) months and 5 (4.6-8.3) kg at the time of implantation, respectively. All were affected by dilated cardiomyopathy. Average LVAD support time was 226.2 ± 121.2 days. Nine (70%) were transplanted, 4 (30%) died. LV end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes were reduced until the follow up of two months (P = 0.019 and P = 0.001). A progressive increase in RV dimensions was observed. After 4 months of follow up, RV fractional area change worsening was statistically related with the deterioration of LV unloading (P = 0.0036). Four patients needed prolonged inotropic support for RV failure. Pulsatile LVAD in pediatrics is followed by an early and mid-term LV unloading, as expressed by a decrease in LV volumes and diameters at echocardiogram. The effects of unloading do not remain stable at long term follow up. RV function improved in the acute phase, but a progressive dilatation of RV was noted over time. In some patients, RV failure might lead to the need of an increase of inotropic support at long term follow up.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArtificial Organs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 12 2017


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