Impact of Fried Frailty Phenotype on Postoperative Outcomes After Durable Contemporary Mechanical Circulatory Support: A Single-Center Experience

Temitope Ajibawo, Priyank Chauhan, Radha Gopalan


Background: Frailty is prevalent in advanced heart failure patients and may help distinguish patients at risk of worse outcomes. However, the effect of frailty on postoperative clinical outcomes is still understudied. Therefore, we aim to study the relationship between frailty and postoperative clinical outcomes in patients undergoing long-term mechanical circulatory support (MCS).

Methods: Forty-six patients undergoing durable MCS (left ventricular assist device and total artificial heart) placement at our medical center were assessed for frailty pre-implant. Frailty was defined as ? 3 physical components of the Fried frailty phenotype. Our primary endpoint is 1 year of survival post-implant. Secondary endpoints include 30-day all-cause rehospitalization, pump thrombosis, neurological event (stroke/transient ischemic attack), gastrointestinal bleeding, and driveline infection within 12 months post-MCS support.

Results: Of the 46 patients, 32 (69%) met the criteria for frailty according to Fried. The cohort’s median age was 67.0 years. The frail group had statistically significant lower left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (11% vs. 20%, P = 0.017) and lower albumin (3.5 vs. 4.0 g/dL, P = 0.021). The frail cohort also had significantly higher rates of comorbid chronic kidney disease (47% vs. 7%, P = 0.016). There were no differences between the frail vs. non-frail group in terms of 30-day readmission rates (40% vs. 39%, P = 0.927) and 1-year post-intervention survival (log-rank, P = 0.165). None of the other secondary endpoints reached statistical significance, although the incidence of gastrointestinal bleed (24% vs. 16%, P = 0.689) and pump thrombosis (8% vs. 0%, P = 0.538) were higher in the frail group.

Conclusions: Preoperative Fried frailty was not associated with readmission at 30 days, mortality at 365 days, and other postoperative outcomes in long-term durable MCS patients. Findings may need further validation in larger studies.

Cardiol Res. 2022;13(6):315-322


Frailty; Mechanical circulatory support; Outcomes; Rehospitalization; Survival

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