Effect of Body Mass Index on Outcomes in Left Ventricular Assist Device Recipients

Pauline H. Go, Hassan W. Nemeh, Jamil Borgi, Gaetano Paone, Jeffrey A. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background and Aim Obesity is associated with higher mortality following heart transplantation, but there remains no consensus regarding outcomes in left ventricular assist device (LVAD) recipients. We sought to determine the impact of body mass index (BMI) on outcomes in patients undergoing LVAD implantation. Methods This was a single-institution retrospective review, including all patients who received a HeartMate II LVAD or HeartWare HVAD between March 2006 and June 2014. Patients were stratified into three groups based on normal (<25 kg/m2), overweight (25-30 kg/m2), and obese (>30 kg/m2) BMI. Results Two hundred patients were included in the analysis. Mean BMI was 28.3 kg/m2, (27% normal, 36% overweight, and 36.5% obese). Obese patients were younger (51.9 years, p = 0.03) and had higher incidence of diabetes (58.9% vs. 24.1%; p < 0.001) and peripheral vascular disease (16.4% vs. 1.9%; p = 0.03). Normal BMI patients were more likely to undergo LVAD implantation as destination therapy compared to the overweight and obese groups (67% vs. 39% vs. 51%; p = 0.01) and had higher incidence of postoperative stroke/transient ischemic attack (22.2% vs. 6.9% vs. 12.3%; p = 0.04) and postoperative bleeding requiring reoperation (27.8% vs. 12.5% vs. 9.6%; p = 0.01). Survival at one, three, and five years was similar across all BMI groups. BMI was not an independent predictor of overall survival. Conclusions Appropriately-selected patients at the extremes of BMI can safely undergo LVAD implantation with no difference in survival. BMI should not in itself be considered a contraindication to LVAD placement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-247
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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