Outcomes with Ventricular Assist Device Therapy for Advanced Heart Failure in North Macedonia: First Annual Report
Keywords:Chronic Heart Failure, Mechanical Circulatory Support, Left Ventricular Assist Device, quality-of-life
Introduction: Mechanical circulatory support by a continuous-flow ventricular assist device (VAD) improves survival and quality of life in selected patients with advanced heart failure. Developing countries have been struggling to construct a contemporary and effective health care system to manage advanced heart failure. This observation represents the first annual report on clinical outcomes with VAD for patients with advanced heart failure in the Republic of North Macedonia.
Methods: Data from all patients with VAD implantations between November 2018 and December 2019 were collected. The etiology of the heart failure was dilated cardiomyopathy in 4 patients (57%), ischemic cardiomyopathy in 2 (28%), and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in 1 (14%). The primary outcome was survival; secondary outcomes included adverse events defined according to the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support.
Results: A total of 7 patients (85% males, median age 56 years) received a VAD; 5 of them received left VAD, and the remaining 2 received biventricular VAD. There were no deaths. Observed morbidity during a mean follow-up of 216 days included 3 bleeding events in 1 patient, 2 patients with superficial driveline infection, and 1 minor stroke and a pump thrombosis, which were treated with VAD exchange. Significant improvement in quality of life, as assessed by the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire and the Functional Independence Measure™ instrument, was seen with all patients.
Conclusions: Our results demonstrate a successful initiation of the VAD program in the Republic of North Macedonia. Proper training of a dedicated HF team supports the reproducibility of this treatment in developing countries.
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