Left ventricular assist device: exercise capacity evolution and rehabilitation added value.

Lamotte MX, Chimenti S, Deboeck G, Gillet A, Kacelenenbogen R,
Strapart J, Vandeneynde F, Van Nooten G, Antoine M.

Acta Cardiol. 2018 Jun;73(3):248-255. doi: 10.1080/00015385.2017.1368947. Epub
2017 Aug 28.

BACKGROUND: With more than 15,000 implanted patients worldwide and a survival
rate of 80% at 1-year and 59% at 5-years, left ventricular assist device (LVAD)
implantation has become an interesting strategy in the management of heart
failure patients who are resistant to other kinds of treatment. There are limited
data in the literature on the change over time of exercise capacity in LVAD
patients, as well as limited knowledge about the beneficial effects that
rehabilitation might have on these patients. Therefore, the aim of our study was
to evaluate the evolution of exercise capacity on a cohort of patients implanted
with the same device (HeartWare©) and to analyse the potential impact of
METHODS: Sixty-two patients implanted with a LVAD between June 2011 and June 2015
were screened. Exercise capacity was evaluated by cardiopulmonary exercise
testing at 6 weeks, 6 and 12 months after implantation.
RESULTS: We have observed significant differences in the exercise capacity and
evolution between the trained and non-trained patients. Some of the trained
patients nearly normalised their exercise capacity at the end of the
rehabilitation programme.
CONCLUSIONS: Exercise capacity of patient implanted with a HeartWare© LVAD
increased in the early period after implantation. Rehabilitation allowed
implanted patients to have a significantly better evolution compared to
non-rehabilitated patients.