Is There a Sex Gap in Outcomes of Comparable Patients Supported with Left Ventricular Assist Devices?

Tong Li, Silvia Mariani, Karl Bounader, Dietmar Boethig, Alexandra Schöde, Katharina Homann, Jasmin S Hanke, L Christian Napp, Ali Saad Merzah, Guenes Dogan, Axel Haverich, Jan D Schmitto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


OBJECTIVES: Historically, females were described as suffering from worse outcomes after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. However, females' preoperative conditions are unique, making direct comparisons with males challenging. This study aimed to select through propensity score (PS) matching two preoperatively comparable populations of females and males and test if any real sex-related difference exists regarding survival and adverse events after LVAD implantation.

METHODS: This retrospective single-center observational study investigated patients who received LVAD implantation between 2010 and 2018. PS matching was applied to balance preoperative heterogeneity between males and females. Primary endpoint was survival at follow-up. Secondary endpoints included perioperative outcomes and LVAD-related adverse events.

RESULTS: 92 fully comparable females(n=46) and males(n=46) were selected after PS matching (median age:57 years, min-max:18-75). 26.1% of patients required preoperative mechanical circulatory support. Females needed more intraoperative fresh frozen plasma (p<0.001) and platelets transfusions (p=0.008) compared to males, but postoperative outcomes were comparable between groups. In-hospital, 1-year and 2-year survival were 78.3%, 69.6% and 65.2%, respectively, with no differences between groups. Survival probability remained comparable up to 8 years of follow-up(p=0.35). Overall, females showed a higher rate of strokes(p=0.039) compared to males in the follow-up time.

CONCLUSIONS: After reducing preoperative heterogeneity between females and males, survival after LVAD implantation does not differ based on sex. However, differences might exist in terms of higher transfusions and strokes in females. Reducing preoperative sex disparities and developing intraoperative and anticoagulation strategies which acknowledge sex-related variations might help abolishing differences in LVAD outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2293-2303
Number of pages11
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number11
Early online date10 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • PUMP
  • RISK
  • left ventricular assist device
  • long-term outcomes
  • sex differences

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