Selection for Ventricular Assist Device Placement in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

  • Nasir Z. SulemanjeeEmail author
  • Michael R. Rudnick
  • Mamatha Pinninti


Use of left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) in the treatment of advanced heart failure has increased significantly in recent years. Renal dysfunction is commonly associated with advanced heart failure and is an indicator of poor outcomes. In this chapter, we review factors that affect the clinical outcomes of LVAD implantation in patients with renal dysfunction, with an eye toward improved patient selection.

Renal dysfunction and the need for hemodialysis prior to LVAD implantation increase mortality after LVAD implantation. Although renal function generally improves during the first 1–3 months after LVAD implantation, it can regress to baseline or stay slightly above pre-implantation value by 1 year. Patients with improved renal function after LVAD implantation had improved survival and transplantation rates. Some factors that predict worsening of renal function and poor outcomes in the immediate post-LVAD period are cardiorenal syndrome type II with ischemic changes and renal fibrosis; long-standing, poorly controlled diabetes or hypertension; and need for hemodialysis or CVVHD after LVAD implantation. Improvement in renal function with optimal medical therapy and intra-aortic balloon pump use prior to LVAD implantation were predictors for post-LVAD renal function improvement.

Renal dysfunction should not be bundled into a single category in patients being evaluated for LVAD implantation because there are reversible causes for renal dysfunction in this population. A thorough work-up of renal failure will help to prevent withdrawal of this life-saving therapy from advanced heart failure patients.


Left ventricular assist device Mechanical circulatory assist device Advanced heart failure End-stage heart failure Renal failure Renal dysfunction Chronic kidney disease Patient selection End-stage renal disease Outcomes 





Creatinine clearance


Continuous veno-venous hemodialysis


Estimated glomerular filtration rate


Heart failure


Interagency Registry for Mechanical Assisted Circulatory Support


Left ventricular assist device


Mechanical circulatory support




Renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system



The authors gratefully acknowledge Jennifer Pfaff and Susan Nord of Aurora Cardiovascular Services for editorial preparation of the manuscript and Brian Miller and Brian Schurrer from Aurora Research Institute for help in preparing the figures.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nasir Z. Sulemanjee
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Michael R. Rudnick
    • 3
  • Mamatha Pinninti
    • 4
  1. 1.Aurora Cardiovascular ServicesAurora Sinai/Aurora St. Luke’s Medical CentersMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Penn Presbyterian Medical CenterPerleman School of Medicine of the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Geisinger Medical CenterDanvilleUSA

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