Study: Heart Failure Patients Who Develop Kidney Failure Don't Fare Well

Heart failure patients who develop kidney failure after receiving a mechanical heart pumping device are at increased risk of dying within in the first three years of surgery, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Researchers found that 35 percent of patients who developed kidney failure died within 180 days after surgery compared to zero patients who did not develop kidney failure. The mortality rate worsened to 52 percent at three years post-surgery for patients who developed kidney failure versus 35 percent who did not develop kidney failure.

The study also showed the kidney failure patients endured longer stays in the intensive care unit and longer hospitalizations than those who did not develop kidney failure post-surgery.

The study will be presented Thursday at the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplant in Chicago.

"The short-term and long-term survival of these patients is worrisome," says Jeffrey Morgan, M.D., the study's lead author and associate director of Henry Ford's Circulatory Assist Device Program and Cardiac Transplantation.

"Future study is needed to look at developing a mathematical model that could predict the risk of kidney failure in certain patient populations and lead to improved patient outcomes."

The study followed 41 heart failure patients implanted with a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, between March 2006 and June 2009 at Henry Ford. An LVAD is a battery-operated pumping device surgical implanted to help the pumping ability of the heart.

Researchers compared the survival rates and hospitalizations of 15 patients who developed kidney failure after surgery to the 26 patients who did not.

Researchers found that survival significantly decreased among the kidney failure patients at 30 days, 180 days, one year and three years compared to patients who did not develop kidney failure after surgery. The kidney failure patients also spent on average 15 days in the intensive compared to seven days for the non kidney failure patients in the first 30 days after surgery.

Dr. Morgan theorizes that improvement in patient selection and limiting a patient's time on the cardio-pulmonary bypass machine can reduce the risk of patients developing kidney failure after surgery.

The study was funded by Henry Ford Hospital.

Contact: David Olejarz
dolejar1@hfhs.org
313.874.4094