Lateral Thoracotomy for Ventricular Assist Device Implantation: A Meta-Analysis of Literature

Silvia Mariani, Tong Li, Dietmar Boethig, L. Christian Napp, Anamika Chatterjee, Katharina Homann, Karl Bounader, Jasmin S. Hanke, Guenes Dogan, Roberto Lorusso, Johann Bauersachs, Axel Haverich, Jan D. Schmitto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


The use of lateral thoracotomy (LT) for implanting left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) is worldwide increasing, although the available evidence for its positive effects compared with conventional sternotomy (CS) is limited. This systematic review and meta-analysis analyzes the outcomes of LT compared with CS in patients undergoing implantation of a centrifugal continuous-flow LVAD. Four databases and 1,053 publications were screened until December 2019. Articles including patients undergoing implantation of a centrifugal continuous-flow LVAD through LT were included. A meta-analysis to compare LT and CS was performed to summarize evidences from studies including both LT and CS patients extracted from the same population. Primary outcome measure was in-hospital or 30-day mortality. Eight studies reporting on 730 patients undergoing LVAD implantation through LT (n = 242) or CS (n = 488) were included in the meta-analysis. Left thoracotomy showed lower in-hospital/30-day mortality (odds ratio [OR]: 0.520, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.27-0.99, p = 0.050), shorter intensive care unit (ICU) stay (mean difference [MD]: 3.29, CI: 1.76-4.82, p < 0.001), lower incidence of severe right heart failure (OR: 0.41; CI: 0.19-0.87, p = 0.020) and postoperative right ventricular assist device (RVAD) implantation (OR: 0.27, CI: 0.10-0.76, p = 0.010), fewer perioperative transfusions (MD: 0.75, CI: 0.36-1.14, p < 0.001), and lower incidence of renal failure (OR: 0.45, CI: 0.20-1.01, p = 0.050) and device-related infections (OR: 0.45, CI: 0.20-1.01, p = 0.050), respectively. This meta-analysis demonstrates that implantation of a centrifugal continuous-flow LVAD system via LT benefits from higher short-term survival, less right heart failure, lower postoperative RVAD need, shorter ICU stay, less transfusions, lower risk of device-related infections and kidney failure. Prospective studies are needed for further proof.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-855
Number of pages10
JournalAsaio Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • left ventricular assist device
  • lateral thoracotomy
  • minimally invasive
  • meta-analysis
  • PUMP
  • SAFE


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