Publications by authors named "Celeste T Williams"

24 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Cardiac Amyloidosis in a Child Presenting with Syncope: The First Reported Case and a Diagnostic Dilemma.

Pediatr Cardiol 2022 Mar 16;43(3):700-703. Epub 2021 Nov 16.

Division of Cardiology, The Children's Hospital of Michigan, 3901 Beaubien Boulevard, Detroit, MI, 48201, USA.

Cardiac amyloidosis is a rare cause of cardiomyopathy, reported exclusively in adults. We report the first known case presenting in childhood. A 12-year-old boy presented with syncope and diagnosed with ventricular non-compaction by echocardiography. Eventual genetic testing confirmed a TTR gene mutation associated with hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00246-021-02778-9DOI Listing
March 2022

National Landscape of Hospitalizations in Patients with Left Ventricular Assist Device. Insights from the National Readmission Database 2010-2015.

ASAIO J 2020 Nov/Dec;66(10):1087-1094

From the Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.

The number of patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) has increased over the years and it is important to identify the etiologies for hospital admission, as well as the costs, length of stay and in-hospital complications in this patient group. Using the National Readmission Database from 2010 to 2015, we identified patients with a history of LVAD placement using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) code V43.21. We aimed to identify the etiologies for hospital admission, patient characteristics, and in-hospital outcomes. We identified a total of 15,996 patients with an LVAD, the mean age was 58 years and 76% were males. The most common cause of hospital readmission after LVAD was heart failure (HF, 13%), followed by gastrointestinal (GI) bleed (11.8%), device complication (11.5%), and ventricular tachycardia/fibrillation (4.2%). The median length of stay was 6 days (3-11 days) and the median hospital costs was $12,723 USD. The in-hospital mortality was 3.9%, blood transfusion was required in 26.8% of patients, 20.5% had acute kidney injury, 2.8% required hemodialysis, and 6.2% of patients underwent heart transplantation. Interestingly, the most common cause of readmission was the same as the diagnosis for the preceding admission. One in every four LVAD patients experiences a readmission within 30 days of a prior admission, most commonly due to HF and GI bleeding. Interventions to reduce HF readmissions, such as speed optimization, may be one means of improving LVAD outcomes and resource utilization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MAT.0000000000001138DOI Listing
March 2021

Heart transplant recipients with confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus infection: The Detroit experience.

Clin Transplant 2020 12 1;34(12):e14091. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Heart and Vascular Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA.

A chronic immunosuppressed state as in solid organ transplant recipients is a reported risk factor for the novel 2019 coronavirus infection. Patients with a history of orthotopic heart transplant (OHT) at a tertiary care transplant center in Detroit, Michigan were retrospectively reviewed from March until May 2020. Clinical parameters and outcomes of 5 OHT recipients and one combined heart-lung recipient with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 were obtained. The cohort was predominately African American males with median age of 59 years (interquartile range, 48.25-73.25). All patients were classified as having mild-moderate disease; none required intubation or ICU admission with no deaths. The most common presenting symptoms were fever and shortness of breath 83% (n = 5), followed by cough and chills 67% (n = 4). All admitted patients (n = 5) received hydroxychloroquine and 3 received high-dose steroids. Antimetabolites were held for 2 patients (33.3%). The calcineurin inhibitor trough goal was decreased in only 1 patient; 3 other patients, without change in goal, required calcineurin inhibitor dosage reduction. Two patients requiring readmission presented 7 and 23 days after initial symptoms onset. In conclusion, our experience with OHT patients infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus did not have an elevated risk of severe infection. Impact of modifying immunosuppression remains unclear.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ctr.14091DOI Listing
December 2020

Corrigendum to "Intracranial Hemorrhage in Patients with a Left Ventricular Assist Device" [World Neurosurgery 113 (2018) e714-e721].

World Neurosurg 2018 08 2;116:539. Epub 2018 Jun 2.

Department of Neurosurgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2018.05.102DOI Listing
August 2018

Intracranial Hemorrhage in Patients with a Left Ventricular Assist Device.

World Neurosurg 2018 May 3;113:e714-e721. Epub 2018 Mar 3.

Department of Neurosurgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, USA; Department of Neurosurgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

Background: There is a dearth of literature regarding management and outcomes of patients with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) for advanced heart failure who develop intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). We conducted a case series from 2 centers highlighting patient outcomes and prognostic factors to help clinicians better understand and care for these high-risk patients.

Methods: A case series from 2 large-volume institutions (defined as large by the Nationwide Inpatient Sample hospital size, i.e., >500 beds both with Departments of Neurosurgery and Advanced Heart Failure-Cardiology) was conducted to clarify the prognosis of patients with an LVAD and ICH. We included patients who were being treated with an LVAD who developed ICH. Patient-specific demographics and data regarding heart failure and intracranial hemorrhage characteristics were collected and analyzed to determine which factors contributed to overall survival.

Results: We analyzed 59 unique ICHs in patients being treated with an LVAD for heart failure. Initial Glasgow Coma Scale score, presence of midline shift, and ICH size were factors found to be predictive of mortality. One institution had a sicker patient population including patients with ICH with lower Glasgow Coma Scale score, presence of midline shift, and greater hemorrhage size, which led to overall higher mortality compared with the second institution.

Conclusions: Patients being treated with an LVAD who develop ICH have poor outcomes. Predictive factors for same-admission mortality are lower initial Glasgow Coma Scale score, presence of midline shift, and greater ICH volume.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wneu.2018.02.135DOI Listing
May 2018

Impact of Preoperative Atrial Fibrillation on Postoperative Thromboembolic Events After Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation.

Ann Thorac Surg 2016 Nov 25;102(5):1543-1549. Epub 2016 Jul 25.

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Heart and Vascular Institute, Detroit, Michigan. Electronic address:

Background: The incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) among patients undergoing left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation is high. However, the impact of AF on clinical outcomes has not been clarified. We reviewed our 9-year experience of continuous flow (CF) LVADs to determine the impact of preoperative AF on stroke, device thrombosis, and survival.

Methods: Between March 2006 and May 2015, 231 patients underwent implantation of 240 CF LVADs, 127 (52.9%) as bridge to transplantation and 113 (47.1%) as destination therapy. Effect of AF on postoperative outcomes was assessed by using Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox proportional hazard regression.

Results: There were 78 patients (32.5%) with preoperative AF with a mean age of 55.7 ± 11.4 years. A similar incidence of stroke was found in patients with and without AF, 12.8% versus 16.0%, respectively (p = 0.803). Survival was similar, with 1-, 6-, 12-, and 24-month survivals of 96.2%, 91.7%, 84.5%, and 69.2%, respectively, for AF patients, versus 93.1%, 85.0%, 79.4%, and 74.1%, respectively, for non-AF patients (p = 0.424). Preoperative AF was not a significant independent predictor of survival with the use of Cox proportional hazard regression (hazard ratio 1.08, 95% confidence interval: 0.66 to 1.76).

Conclusions: Preoperative AF was associated with a similar incidence of postoperative stroke, device thrombosis, and survival. On the basis of these data, it seems unnecessary to perform a left atrial appendage ligation or to alter postoperative anticoagulation in patients with AF undergoing LVAD implantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.04.025DOI Listing
November 2016

Outcomes on Continuous Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices: A Single Institutional 9-Year Experience.

Ann Thorac Surg 2016 Oct 10;102(4):1266-73. Epub 2016 May 10.

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Heart and Vascular Institute, Detroit, Michigan.

Background: Continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have become the standard of care for patients with advanced heart failure. The goal of this study was to review our 9-year institutional experience.

Methods: From March 2006 through May 2015, 231 patients underwent implantation of 240 CF LVADs, HeartMate II LVAD (Thoratec Corp., Pleasanton, CA; n = 205) or HVAD (HeartWare Inc., Framingham, MA; n = 35). Of these, 127 devices (52.9%) were implanted as bridge to transplantation (BTT) and 113 (47.1%) as destination therapy (DT).

Results: Mean age was 51.2 ± 11.9 years for BTT patients and 58.2 ± 11.4 years for DT patients (p < 0.001). There was a higher incidence of preoperative diabetes, renal insufficiency, peripheral vascular disease, and previous cardiac operation in DT patients (p < 0.05). Survival was higher for BTT patients, with 1-, 6-, 12-, and 24-month survivals of 91.0%, 90.0%, 88.5%, and 72.1%, respectively, versus 85.3%, 81.1%, 75.6%, and 59.0%, respectively, for DT patients (p = 0.038). Gastrointestinal bleeding was the most common complication (29.6%), followed by right ventricular failure (22.5%) and stroke (15.0%), with a similar incidence for BTT and DT patients. Preoperative liver biopsy (hazard ratio [HR] 2.27, p = 0.036), mechanical support (HR 1.82, p = 0.025), aspartate transaminase (HR 1.07, p = 0.001), and alanine aminotransferase (HR 0.95, p = 0.024) were severe independent predictors of survival in multivariate analysis.

Conclusions: These data indicate excellent survival for BTT and DT patients on long-term LVAD support. However, for LVAD therapy to become a plausible alternative to heart transplantation, we need to further decrease the incidence of postoperative complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2016.03.026DOI Listing
October 2016

Progressive Left Ventricular Hypertrophy after Heart Transplantation: Insights and Mechanisms Suggested by Multimodal Images.

Tex Heart Inst J 2016 Feb 1;43(1):65-8. Epub 2016 Feb 1.

Immunosuppression is the typical measure to prevent rejection after heart transplantation. Although rejection is the usual cause of cardiac hypertrophy, numerous other factors warrant consideration. Calcineurin inhibitors rarely cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; the few relevant reports have described children after orthotopic kidney or liver transplantation. We present the case of a 73-year-old woman, an asymptomatic orthotopic heart transplantation patient, in whom chronic immunosuppression with prednisone and cyclosporine apparently caused a phenotype of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The natural course of her midapical hypertrophy was revealed by single-photon-emission computed tomography, positron-emission tomography, and 2-dimensional echocardiography. Clinicians and radiographers should be alert to progressive left ventricular hypertrophy and various perfusion patterns in heart transplantation patients even in the absence of underlying coronary artery disease. Toward this end, we recommend that advanced imaging methods be used to their fullest extent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14503/THIJ-14-4657DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4810589PMC
February 2016

Prognostic value of cardiopulmonary exercise testing in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. The Henry Ford HospITal CardioPulmonary EXercise Testing (FIT-CPX) project.

Am Heart J 2016 Apr 12;174:167-72. Epub 2016 Jan 12.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI.

Background: Although cardiopulmonary exercise (CPX) testing in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction is well established, there are limited data on the value of CPX variables in patients with HF and preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). We sought to determine the prognostic value of select CPX measures in patients with HFpEF.

Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of patients with HFpEF (ejection fraction ≥ 50%) who performed a CPX test between 1997 and 2010. Selected CPX variables included peak oxygen uptake (VO2), percent predicted maximum oxygen uptake (ppMVO2), minute ventilation to carbon dioxide production slope (VE/VCO2 slope) and exercise oscillatory ventilation (EOV). Separate Cox regression analyses were performed to assess the relationship between each CPX variable and a composite outcome of all-cause mortality or cardiac transplant.

Results: We identified 173 HFpEF patients (45% women, 58% non-white, age 54 ± 14 years) with complete CPX data. During a median follow-up of 5.2 years, there were 42 deaths and 5 cardiac transplants. The 1-, 3-, and 5-year cumulative event-free survival was 96%, 90%, and 82%, respectively. Based on the Wald statistic from the Cox regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, and β-blockade therapy, ppMVO2 was the strongest predictor of the end point (Wald χ(2) = 15.0, hazard ratio per 10%, P < .001), followed by peak VO2 (Wald χ(2) = 11.8, P = .001). VE/VCO2 slope (Wald χ(2)= 0.4, P = .54) and EOV (Wald χ(2) = 0.15, P = .70) had no significant association to the composite outcome.

Conclusion: These data support the prognostic utility of peak VO2 and ppMVO2 in patients with HFpEF. Additional studies are needed to define optimal cut points to identify low- and high-risk patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2015.12.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4804356PMC
April 2016

Short and long term outcomes of 200 patients supported by continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices.

World J Cardiol 2015 Nov;7(11):792-800

Athanasios Tsiouris, Jeffrey A Morgan, Section of Cardiac Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, United States.

Aim: To study the institutional experience over 8 years with 200 continuous-flow (CF) - left ventricular assist devices (LVAD).

Methods: We evaluated our institution's LVAD database and analyzed all patients who received a CF LVAD as a bridge to transplant (BTT) or destination therapy from March 2006 until June 2014. We identified 200 patients, of which 179 were implanted with a HeartMate II device (Thoratec Corp., Pleasanton, CA) and 21 received a Heartware HVAD (HeartWare Inc., Framingham, MA).

Results: The mean age of our LVAD recipients was 59.3 years (range 17-81), 76% (152/200) were males, and 49% were implanted for the indication of BTT. The survival rate for our LVAD patients at 30 d, 6 mo, 12 mo, 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years was 94%, 86%, 78%, 71%, 62% and 45% respectively. The mean duration of LVAD support was 581 d (range 2-2595 d). Gastrointestinal bleeding (was the most common adverse event (43/200, 21%), followed by right ventricular failure (38/200, 19%), stroke (31/200, 15%), re exploration for bleeding (31/200, 15%), ventilator dependent respiratory failure (19/200, 9%) and pneumonia (15/200, 7%). Our driveline infection rate was 7%. Pump thrombosis occurred in 6% of patients. Device exchanged was needed in 6% of patients. On multivariate analysis, preoperative liver dysfunction, ventilator dependent respiratory failure, tracheostomy and right ventricular failure requiring right ventricular assist device support were significant predictors of post LVAD survival.

Conclusion: Short and long term survival for patients on LVAD support are excellent, although outcomes still remain inferior compared to heart transplantation. The incidence of driveline infections, pump thrombosis and pump exchange have declined significantly in recent years.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4330/wjc.v7.i11.792DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4660474PMC
November 2015

Heart Rate and V˙O2 Concordance in Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2016 Mar;48(3):363-7

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI.

Unlabelled: The American College of Sports Medicine currently recommends the HR reserve (HRR) method to guide exercise in individuals who have heart failure with reduced ejection fraction. This recommendation is based on the known association between %HRR and percentage of V˙O2 reserve (%V˙O2R) in this population. However, to our knowledge, no studies exist regarding this relation in individuals with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD).

Purpose: This article aimed to describe the relation between V˙O2 and surrogate markers of exercise intensity among patients with LVAD.

Methods: Patients with continuous-flow LVAD (n = 24, seven females) completed a symptom-limited graded exercise test on a treadmill. HR and V˙O2 were measured continuously and averaged every 20 s. Regression equations were determined using a generalized estimating equation to predict %V˙O2R from %HRR, Borg RPE, and LVAD flow, overall and stratified by presence of pacing.

Results: Although the association between %HRR and %V˙O2R was good (R = 0.75), the slope and y-intercept for %HRR versus %V˙O2R was different from the line of identity (P = 0.002). However, when paced subjects were excluded (n = 8) from the analysis, there was no significant difference between the slope and y-intercept (= 0.036 + 0.937 × %HRR; SEE, 2%; P = 0.052). RPE showed a strong association with %V˙O2R (R = 0.84), whereas LVAD flow showed a weak (albeit statistically significant) association (R = 0.05). Both had slopes and y-intercepts that were different from the line of identity (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: In patients with LVAD who are not paced during exercise, the use of %HRR is a good predictor of %V˙O2R. However, for patients in this population who are also paced during exercise, RPE is a suitable surrogate measure of exercise intensity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000776DOI Listing
March 2016

Effect of Preoperative Albumin Levels on Outcomes in Patients Undergoing Left Ventricular Device Implantation.

ASAIO J 2015 Nov-Dec;61(6):734-7

From the *Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, and †Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Heart and Vascular Institute, Detroit, Michigan.

Hypoalbuminemia is a well-known predictor of morbidity and mortality in cardiac surgery. Our aim was to establish the impact of serum albumin on outcomes after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. This was a single-institution retrospective review, including all patients who underwent LVAD implantation between March 2006 and June 2014. Two hundred patients were included in the analysis. Mean serum albumin was 3.27 ± 0.47 g/dl, with 7% in the low albumin group (<2.5 mg/dl), 67.5% in the mid-range (2.5-3.5 mg/dl), and 25.5% in the normal albumin groups (> 3.5 mg/dl). Lower albumin was associated with a significant increase in postoperative renal failure (42.9 vs. 16.5 vs. 17.3%; p = 0.05) and prolonged hospitalization (median 28.5 vs. 16 vs. 15.5 days; p = 0.008). Six month, 1 year, and 5 year survival was 79%, 79%, and 49% with low, 84%, 78%, and 51% with mid-range, and 94%, 88%, and 60% with normal albumin, respectively (p = 0.22). Preoperative hypoalbuminemia is associated with postoperative acute renal failure (ARF) and prolonged hospitalization after LVAD implantation, with no effect on overall survival. Hypoalbuminemia is most likely a marker of advanced disease and should not, in itself, be considered a contraindication to LVAD candidacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MAT.0000000000000272DOI Listing
July 2016

Comprehensive analysis of cardiopulmonary exercise testing and mortality in patients with systolic heart failure: the Henry Ford Hospital cardiopulmonary exercise testing (FIT-CPX) project.

J Card Fail 2015 Sep 9;21(9):710-8. Epub 2015 Jun 9.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.

Background: Many studies have shown a strong association between numerous variables from a cardiopulmonary exercise (CPX) test and prognosis in patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). However, few studies have compared the prognostic value of a majority of these variables simultaneously, so controversy remains regarding optimal interpretation.

Methods And Results: This was a retrospective analysis of patients with HFrEF (n = 1,201; age = 55 ± 13 y; 33% female) and a CPX test from 1997 to 2010. Thirty variables from a CPX test were considered in separate adjusted Cox regression analyses to describe the strength of the relation of each to a composite end point of all-cause mortality, left ventricular assist device implantation, or heart transplantation. During a median follow-up of 3.8 years, there were 577 (48.0%) events. The majority of variables were highly significant (P < .001). Among these, percentage of predicted maximum V˙O2 (ppMV˙O2; Wald = 203; P < .001; C-index = 0.73) was similar to VE-VCO2 slope (Wald = 201; P < .001; C = 0.72) and peak V˙O2 (Wald = 161; P < .001; C = 0.72). In addition, there was no significant interaction observed for peak respiratory exchange ratio <1 vs ≥1.

Conclusions: Consistent with prior studies, many CPX test variables were strongly associated with prognosis in patients with HFrEF. The choice of which variable to use is up to the clinician. Renewed attention should be given to ppMV˙O2, which appears to be highly predictive of survival in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2015.06.001DOI Listing
September 2015

Relationship of tricuspid repair at the time of left ventricular assist device implantation and survival.

Int J Artif Organs 2014 Nov 29;37(11):834-8. Epub 2014 Nov 29.

1 Division of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI - USA.

Purpose: Tricuspid regurgitation contributes to right ventricular failure (RVF) and is associated with worse clinical outcomes in patients undergoing left ventricular assist device (LVAD) treatment. However, whether tricuspid valve repair (TVR) at the time of LVAD implantation improves outcomes is not clear.

Methods: We identified all patients undergoing initial implantation of a long-term continuous-flow LVAD at our institution from March 2006 to August 2011. We assessed the impact of TVR on survival and incidence of RVF using Kaplan-Meier curves and proportional hazards regression adjusted for age, gender, baseline tricuspid regurgitation, RV function, MELD score, albumin, and indication (bridge vs. destination).

Results: A total of 101 patients were included in the analysis, of which 14 patients underwent TVR concomitant LVAD. All TVR patients had moderate or severe baseline regurgitation. Crude survival was not different between groups. In multivariable models adjusted for confounding factors, TVR showed a significant association with improved survival (HR = 0.1, p = 0.049). Adjusted models showed no difference in RVF.

Conclusions: In this cohort of patients, TVR at the time of LVAD implantation appears associated with better survival. Additional larger studies are needed to verify the effect of TVR at the time of LVAD implantation, and whether it should be utilized more frequently.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5301/ijao.5000369DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4350366PMC
November 2014

Cardiac rehabilitation improves functional capacity and patient-reported health status in patients with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices: the Rehab-VAD randomized controlled trial.

JACC Heart Fail 2014 Dec 22;2(6):653-9. Epub 2014 Oct 22.

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.

Objectives: This study examined the effects of a cardiac rehabilitation (CR) program on functional capacity and health status (HS) in patients with newly implanted left ventricular assist devices (LVADs).

Background: Reduced functional capacity and HS are independent predictors of mortality in patients with heart failure. CR improves both, and is related to improved outcomes in patients with heart failure; however, there is a paucity of data that describe the effects of CR in patients with LVADs.

Methods: Enrolled subjects (n = 26; 7 women; age 55 ± 13 years; ejection fraction 21 ± 8%) completed a symptom-limited cardiopulmonary exercise test, the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ), a 6-min walk test (6MW), and single-leg isokinetic strength test before 2:1 randomization to CR versus usual care. Subjects in the CR group underwent 18 visits of aerobic exercise at 60% to 80% of heart rate reserve. Within-group changes from baseline to follow-up were analyzed with a paired t-test, whereas an independent t-test was used to determine differences in the change between groups.

Results: Within-group improvements were observed in the CR group for peak oxygen uptake (10%), treadmill time (3.1 min), KCCQ score (14.4 points), 6MW distance (52.3 m), and leg strength (17%). Significant differences among groups were observed for KCCQ, leg strength, and total treadmill time.

Conclusions: Indicators of functional capacity and HS are improved in patients with continuous-flow LVADs who attend CR. Future trials should examine the mechanisms responsible for these improvements, and if such improvements translate into improved clinical outcomes. (Cardiac Rehabilitation in Patients With Continuous Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices:Rehab VAD Trial [RehabVAD]; NCT01584895).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jchf.2014.06.011DOI Listing
December 2014

Stroke while on long-term left ventricular assist device support: incidence, outcome, and predictors.

ASAIO J 2014 May-Jun;60(3):284-9

From the *Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery and †Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Heart and Vascular Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.

Development of stroke while on left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support can be a source of significant morbidity and mortality. From March 2006 through November 2011, one hundred patients with chronic heart failure underwent implantation of a HeartMate II (HM II) LVAD (Thoratec Corp.) as a bridge to transplant (BTT; n = 65) or destination therapy (DT; n = 35). Records were reviewed to determine the prevalence and type of postimplant stroke, anatomic cerebral location of strokes, and associated morbidity and mortality. Cox multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify independent predictors of postoperative stroke. Strokes occurred in 12 patients (12.0%): four embolic and eight hemorrhagic. Median duration of support at the time of stroke was 281.0 days for embolic strokes and 380.5 days for hemorrhagic strokes (p = 0.028). Stroke patients had a significantly higher incidence of diabetes (66.7% vs. 40.9%; p = 0.024), history of preimplant stroke (16.7% vs. 4.5%; p = 0.046), and aortic cross-clamping with cardioplegic arrest during their LVAD implant (50.0% vs. 20.2%; p = 0.034) compared with patients without postoperative strokes. Mean international normalized ratio (INR) at the time of stroke was subtherapeutic in all four patients with embolic strokes (mean: 1.5 ± 0.1 IU; range 1.3-1.6 IU) and supratherapeutic in four of eight patients with hemorrhagic strokes (mean: 3.2 ± 2.2 IU, range: 1.4-7.0 IU; p = 0.024). There was a 25.0% 30 day mortality after stroke. Diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 6.36; p = 0.029), aortic cross-clamping with cardioplegic arrest (OR 4.75; p = 0.025), duration of LVAD support (OR 1.00; p = 0.008), and INR (OR 4.42; p = 0.020) were independent predictors of stroke in multivariate analysis with a trend toward significance for history of stroke (OR 6.25; p = 0.075). Stroke represented an important source of morbidity and mortality for patients on HM II LVAD support. As long-term device therapy continues to gain popularity for both BTT and DT, a better understanding of the predictors of stroke, more strict control of postoperative anticoagulation, and the establishment of a risk stratification model may aid in minimizing its occurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MAT.0000000000000074DOI Listing
December 2014

Assessing the potential of e-mail for communicating drug therapy recommendations to physicians in patients with heart failure and ventricular-assist devices.

J Pharm Pract 2014 Oct 6;27(5):478-80. Epub 2013 Dec 6.

Department of Pharmacy Services, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, USA

Purpose: This project explores electronic mail (e-mail) as a potential medium for pharmacists to communicate pharmacotherapy interventions to prescribers.

Methods: This retrospective descriptive analysis was conducted at an urban, academic teaching hospital. The pharmacist attempted a drug therapy intervention via e-mail when unable to make face-to-face contact with the attending physician. Eligible patients for this project were admitted to the advanced heart failure (HF) team between December 1, 2010, and July 31, 2011, and had at least 1 attempted e-mail intervention. The primary outcome was the number of accepted interventions, while the secondary end point was the time until a physician e-mail response.

Results: A total of 51 e-mail interventions were attempted on 29 patients (mean age = 53, 24% caucasian, 59% male, 69% left ventricular-assist device [VAD]). Overall, of the total 51 interventions,44 (86.3%) were accepted. The average time to a physician e-mail response was 41 minutes. Initiation of drug therapy and changing dose and route or frequency accounted for the most frequent intervention (33%). The most common drug classes involved in the e-mail interventions were angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (15.7%), loop diuretics (9.8%), and antiplatelet agents (7.8%).

Conclusion: Clinical pharmacists with well-established physician relationships can effectively implement timely drug therapy recommendations using e-mail communications in patients with advanced HF or VADs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0897190013513618DOI Listing
October 2014

Muscular strength and cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with health status in patients with recently implanted continuous-flow LVADs.

J Cardiopulm Rehabil Prev 2013 Nov-Dec;33(6):396-400

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan.

Introduction: Patient health status (PHS) and peak oxygen uptake (V.O2) are important predictors of clinical outcomes in individuals with heart failure. Preliminary studies of individuals with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) show improvements in both PHS and peak V.O2. However, the relationship between peak V.O2 and PHS in this population is not well described. Likewise, data regarding muscular strength are also lacking in this population. We sought to describe the association between peak V.O2, muscular strength, and PHS in patients with continuous-flow LVADs.

Methods: Subjects (n = 26; 7 women) completed a symptom-limited graded exercise test within an average of 82 days (range, 33-167 days) of LVAD implant. In addition, subjects underwent a 6-Minute Walk Test and an isokinetic knee extension strength test and completed the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ). Spearman correlation coefficients were performed, adjusting for body weight and gender, to examine relationships between variables.

Results: Muscular strength, as measured by peak torque, and peak V.O2 were both moderately associated with the KCCQ (r = 0.58, P = .006; r = 0.51, P = .019). A subanalysis revealed that muscular strength and peak V.O2 were related to different domains within the KCCQ.

Conclusions: Leg muscle strength and peak V.O2 appear to be important factors related to PHS in patients with continuous-flow LVADs. This is likely partially a result of deconditioning due to recent hospitalization, as well as persistent heart failure-related peripheral maladaptations in skeletal muscle. Incorporating both a cardiovascular as well as strength training program before and after LVAD implant surgery may be beneficial.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/HCR.0000000000000024DOI Listing
July 2014

Pentoxifylline for the treatment of hemolytic anemia in a patient who developed recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding while on continuous-flow left ventricular assist device support.

ASAIO J 2013 Sep-Oct;59(5):526-7

Pharmacy Services, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Pentoxifylline is an agent that improves red blood cell deformability (known as a hemorrheologic effect) and reduces blood viscosity. Here, we present a case of a patient with hemolytic anemia after continuous-flow left ventricular assist device (CF-LVAD) implantation that was successfully treated with pentoxifylline. Our case is a 64-year-old African American woman who was implanted with a HeartMate II device on August 6, 2010, as a bridge to transplant for end-stage heart failure. Her postoperative course was complicated by recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding and antiplatelet therapy was discontinued. On October 25, 2011, she was readmitted with anemia and hemoglobin of 6.6 mg/dl and no identifiable source of bleeding. Her lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was 936 IU/L, indicating severe hemolysis. Due to her evidence of hemolytic anemia and her inability to tolerate antiplatelet therapy due to recurrent bleeding, she was discharged on pentoxifylline 400 mg thrice daily on October 27, 2011, with hemoglobin of 11.2 mg/dl after transfusion. After 60 days of pentoxifylline, her hemoglobin and LDH in clinic were 10.1 mg/dl and 223 IU/L, respectively. The patient was successfully bridged to transplant in June 2012. Additional analysis of pentoxifylline as a therapeutic modality to manage hemolytic anemia after CF-LVAD implantation may be warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MAT.0b013e31829f0eb1DOI Listing
April 2014

Impact of continuous-flow left ventricular assist device support on right ventricular function.

J Heart Lung Transplant 2013 Apr 9;32(4):398-403. Epub 2013 Feb 9.

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.

Background: Continuous-flow (CF) pumps have yielded improvements in short- and long-term survival and quality of life, and have reduced the number of left ventricular assist device (LVAD)-related complications. However, their ability to unload the right ventricle (RV) and improve RV function has not been as clearly defined. We evaluated the short- and mid-term effects of CF-LVADs on central venous pressure (CVP), pulmonary artery pressures (PAP), pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), cardiac index (CI), RV ejection fraction (RVEF), RV end-diastolic dimension (RVEDD), RV stroke work index (RVSWI), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) and severity of tricuspid regurgitation (TR).

Methods: From March 2006 through June 2012, 130 patients with chronic heart failure underwent implantation of a CF-LVAD (122 HeartMate II and 8 HeartWare devices) as a bridge to transplant (n = 76) or as destination therapy (n = 54). Patients with pre-operative long-term LVADs (n = 4) and patients who underwent concomitant tricuspid valve repairs during their LVAD implant (n = 21) were excluded from the analysis. Echocardiograms and right heart catheterizations of the remaining 105 patients were reviewed pre-operatively and at 1 and 6 months post-LVAD implantation.

Results: At 1 month post-LVAD implantation, CVP decreased from 12.4 ± 5.9 mm Hg to 8.7 ± 4.5 mm Hg (p < 0.001), systolic PAP decreased from 52.3 ± 14.1 mm Hg to 36.8 ± 11.3 mm Hg (p < 0.001), PCWP decreased from 23.0 ± 9.4 mm Hg to 12.9 ± 8.0 mm Hg (p < 0.001), CI index increased from 1.8 ± 0.5 liters/min m2 to 2.4 ± 0.5 liters/min m2 (p < 0.001), RVEF increased from 33.1 ± 4.9% to 40.4 ± 6.2% (p < 0.001), RVEDD decreased from 36 mm to 31 mm (p = 0.020), RVSWI improved from 408.6 ± 144.6 mm Hg ml m2 to 614.4 ± 196.2 mm Hg ml m2 (p < 0.001), and mean TAPSE increased from 1.1 ± 0.4 cm to 1.9 ± 0.4 cm (p = 0.004). Similarly, qualitative RV function on echocardiography improved from 57.1% moderately or severely reduced pre-operatively to 38.1% at 1 month (p = 0.008). Severity of TR decreased from 11.4% moderate or severe pre-operatively to 4.8% at 1 month (p < 0.001). These improvements were maintained at 6 months post-LVAD.

Conclusions: CF-LVAD support significantly decreased CVP and RVEDD, with concomitant improvement in RV function, as measured by increases in RVEF, RVSWI and TAPSE, as well as improvements in the qualitative echocardiographic appearance of RV contractility and a reduction in TR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2012.12.018DOI Listing
April 2013

Left ventricular reverse remodeling with a continuous flow left ventricular assist device measured by left ventricular end-diastolic dimensions and severity of mitral regurgitation.

ASAIO J 2012 Nov-Dec;58(6):574-7

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

Pulsatile flow left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) maximally unload the left ventricle (LV), leading to reverse remodeling of the myopathic LV that manifests as decreased LV end-diastolic dimension (LVEDD) and decreased severity of mitral regurgitation (MR). There is a paucity of data, however, regarding the ability of continuous flow (CF) pumps to adequately decompress the LV to induce similar reverse remodeling. We sought to evaluate the effects of CF-LVADs on LV reverse remodeling. From March 2006 through July 2011, one hundred patients with chronic heart failure underwent implantation of CF-LVAD (93 HeartMate II LVADs and seven HeartWare LVADs) as bridge-to-transplant (n = 68) and destination therapies (n = 32). Echocardiograms and right heart catheterizations were reviewed preoperatively and at 1 and 6 months post-LVAD implantation. Mean age was 52.1 ± 12.1 years; etiology of heart failure was ischemic cardiomyopathy in 34 patients and nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy in 66 patients. Median LVAD support time was 378.3 days; 371.5 days for patients who received bridge-to-transplant therapy and 422.2 days for patients who underwent destination therapy. Left ventricular end-diastolic dimension significantly decreased at 1 month post-LVAD implantation from 71.6 ± 12.4 to 58.3 ± 13.8 mm (p < 0.001). Severity of MR also significantly decreased from 76.0% of patients having moderate or severe MR preoperatively to 8.0% with moderate or severe MR at 1 month post-LVAD (p < 0.001). These reductions were maintained at 6 months. These data demonstrate the ability of a CF-LVAD to significantly decompress the LV, leading to significant reductions in LVEDD and severity of MR. This reverse remodeling was apparent in the early postoperative period and was sustained at 6 months. Further studies are warranted to investigate whether this correlates with clinical LV recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MAT.0b013e31826e4267DOI Listing
June 2013

Management of aortic valve insufficiency in patients supported by long-term continuous flow left ventricular assist devices.

Ann Thorac Surg 2012 Nov;94(5):1710-2

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.

Continuous flow (CF) left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have yielded improved outcomes in patient survival and quality of life compared with first-generation pulsatile pumps; however, they have been associated with an increased incidence of postimplant aortic valve insufficiency (AI), which can have can have serious clinical consequences if not diagnosed and treated expeditiously. We reviewed our experience with AI after LVAD since the start of our CF LVAD program. From March 2006 through July 2011, 94 patients with chronic heart failure underwent implantation of a HeartMate II (HM II) LVAD. Severe AI developed in three patients after CF LVAD implantation. The clinical records of these patients were reviewed to analyze the presenting signs and symptoms of AI, identify the duration of LVAD support when the AI occurred, how the AI was treated, and the outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.03.105DOI Listing
November 2012

Non-cardiac surgery in patients on long-term left ventricular assist device support.

J Heart Lung Transplant 2012 Jul 14;31(7):757-63. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.

Background: An increasing number of patients on left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support are requiring non-cardiac surgical (NCS) procedures. We reviewed our experience with the management of patients on continuous flow (CF) LVAD support undergoing NCS.

Methods: From March 2006 through March 2011, 86 patients with chronic heart failure underwent implantation of a HeartMate II (Thoratec Corp, Pleasanton, CA) LVAD. Clinical records of these patients were reviewed to identify patients who underwent NCS while on LVAD support, with a focus on peri-operative death, bleeding, thrombosis, and device malfunction, as well as management of pre-operative anti-coagulation.

Results: While on CF-LVAD support, 20 patients underwent 25 NCSs, comprising 13 major and 12 minor procedures. Operations were performed electively in 22 and as emergencies in 3. No peri-operative deaths, thromboembolic complications, or device malfunctions occurred. The incidence of bleeding requiring transfusion of packed red blood cells was 36.0%, including 25% of patients undergoing minor NCSs and 46.2% undergoing major NCSs (p = 0.004). All bleeding complications occurred in patients on both warfarin and aspirin pre-operatively. The only significant differences between patients who did and did not require transfusion were pre-operative warfarin use and significantly higher pre-operative international normalized ratio in the transfused group (1.9 ± 0.4 vs 1.4 ± 0.3; p = 0.008).

Conclusions: Non-cardiac operations can be performed safely in patients with CF-LVADs. It may possible to reduce peri-operative bleeding by lowering pre-operative anti-coagulation goals, especially before major surgery. However, additional analysis is required to determine if this can be performed safely.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2012.02.023DOI Listing
July 2012

Gastrointestinal bleeding with the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device.

J Heart Lung Transplant 2012 Jul 14;31(7):715-8. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart and Vascular Institute, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.

Background: Continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVADs) have yielded improved outcomes compared with pulsatile flow devices for patients on long-term support. However, significant rates of gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) have been observed during CF-LVAD support.

Methods: From March 2006 through March 2011, 86 patients with chronic heart failure underwent implantation of a CF-LVAD (HeartMate II; Thoratec Corp., Pleasanton, CA). Records were reviewed to determine the prevalence of post-implant GIB, location of the bleeding site and associated morbidity and mortality. Uni- and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify independent predictors of GIB.

Results: GIB occurred in 19 patients (22.1%) with a duration of support that ranged from 5 to 456 days. Sources of GIB included small bowel and rectum in 6 patients each, large bowel in 2 patients and stomach in 1 patient. No definite source was identified in 4 patients. There were no deaths referable to GIB. Recurrent GIB occurred in 4 patients. History of a GIB prior to LVAD implant was the only variable significantly different between patients with and without post-implant GIB (21.1% vs 10.4%, p = 0.016), and was the only independent predictor of GIB (OR = 2.24, 95% CI 2.121 to 2.435, p = 0.004).

Conclusions: Gastrointestinal bleeding is a frequent source of morbidity for patients on HeartMate II LVAD support but does not significantly impact survival. As implantation of CF-LVADs with non-pulsatile flow gains popularity for both bridge-to-transplant and destination therapy, a better understanding of the pathophysiology of GIB in these patients will be needed for minimizing this complication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.healun.2012.02.015DOI Listing
July 2012
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