Neurologic Events With a Totally Implantable Left Ventricular Assist Device: European LionHeart Clinical Utility Baseline Study (CUBS)

Walter E. Pae, John M. Connell, John P. Boehmer, Reiner Korfer, Aly El-Banayosy, Roland Hetzer, Mario Vigano, Alain Pavie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background: Neurologic events such as thromboembolic and hemorrhagic strokes are common complications of mechanical circulatory support. We report the neurologic events observed in patients treated for end-stage heart failure with the implantable, pulsatile LionHeart left ventricular assist device (LVAD). This sub-study was part of the LionHeart European Clinical Utility Baseline Study (CUBS). Methods: Twenty-three male patients were implanted with the LionHeart LVAD in a non-randomized, observational study. Neurologic events were classified into three categories: (1) transient ischemic attacks (TIAs); (2) strokes, including cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs) and intracranial bleeding (ICB); and (3) "other," including hypoperfusion, coma and brain death. Neurologic injuries were also categorized as transient/reversible or permanent/disabling. Results: Thirteen of 23 patients (57%) had a total of 30 neurologic events. Eight patients (35%) had 18 TIAs. Eight patients (35%) also had a stroke, either CVA (n = 5, 22%) or ICB (n = 3, 13%), and 5 of these patients (22%) also had 12 TIAs. Three patients (13%) had 4 "other" neurologic events. Ten patients (43%) had transient/reversible neurologic deficits and 10 (43%) had permanent/disabling events. One patient (4%) had intracranial bleeding as a primary cause of death (anti-coagulation-related hemorrhage). The combined incidence of neurologic events was 1.37 events/patient-year. The incidences of transient and permanent events were 0.91 and 0.46 event/patient-year, respectively. Conclusions: Neurologic events caused morbidity in the CUBS trial, with infrequent mortality. These results are similar to previous experiences with destination therapy and underscore the need for improvements in LVAD design, patient selection and patient management to reduce the incidence of neurologic events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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