Temporary Right Ventricular Assist Device Support for Acute Right Heart Failure: A Single-Center Experience

Published:October 13, 2022DOI:



      Severe right ventricular (RV) failure is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Although right ventricular assist devices (RVADs) are increasingly used for refractory RV failure, there is limited data on their short- and long-term outcomes. Therefore, we undertook this study to better understand our experience with temporary RVADs.


      We conducted a retrospective review of all RVADS performed from 2017 to 2021. Patients supported with surgical RVADs, the Protek Duo device, and the Impella RP device were included. Patients were stratified by the type of RVAD and by etiology of RV failure. Survival was assessed by the Kaplan–Meier method and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression models.


      From 2017 to 2021, 42 patients underwent RVAD implantation: 32 with a Protek Duo, 6 with an Impella RP, and 4 with a surgical RVAD. Majority of patients were already supported with an alternate form of mechanical support. Most patients had impaired renal function, decreased hepatic function, and lactic acidosis at the time of cannulation. The median duration of RVAD support was 8.5 [5-19] d. Survival to decannulation was 68.4%, to discharge was 47.4%, and to 1-y was 40.2%. Multivariable analysis identified elevated total bilirubin levels to be associated with 30-d mortality while increased hemoglobin levels were protective. After RVAD cannulation, the median number of pressors and inotropes was lower (P < 0.01) and the lactic acidosis was less (P < 0.01).


      In conclusion, RVAD support is associated with lower lactate levels, and decreased number of vasoactive medications, but is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.


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