For almost half a century, cardiac transplant has been the only long-term treatment for patients with end-stage heart failure. Implantable left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have emerged as a new treatment option for advanced heart failure as destination therapy for patients either too old or not suitable for transplant. A meta-analysis presenting head-to-head comparisons of cardiac transplant versus LVAD as destination therapy (LVAD-DT) found no difference in 1-year mortality rates between LVAD-DT and cardiac transplant (OR 1.49; 95% CI [0.48-4.66]; I2=82.8%). Moreover, a recent subanalysis from the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support found similar outcomes after LVAD-DT implantation in both transplant and non-transplant centres. The time is right for LVAD-DT in non-transplant centres, provided multidisciplinary heart failure teams and expertise are in place.
- Cardiac transplant
- Destination therapy
- Left ventricular assist device