Intracorporeal VAD Outcomes in the ACTION Quality Improvement Network

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1016/j.healun.2020.01.1312



The initial project of ACTION (Advanced Cardiac Therapies Improving Outcomes Network) is focused on improving stroke rates in patients implanted with a ventricular assist devices (VAD) in participating centers. The initial interventions targeted improving communication, anticoagulation, and blood pressure management. We sought to describe the characteristics and outcomes of patients implanted with intracorporeal, continuous flow VADs (cfVAD).


The ACTION registry was used to determine the stroke frequency in cfVAD implanted patients between April 2018 and September 2019, the time from development of the quality improvement bundle to the present.


Sixty two patients (33 Heartmate3 [HM3] and 29 Heartware [HVAD]) were identified (Table). The majority had dilated cardiomyopathy (76%). Of the 12 (20%) patients with congenital heart disease (CHD), 9 (75%) had single ventricle (SV) physiology. The HM3 patients were older (16.5 yr vs 12.8 yr) and larger (64.2 kg vs 51.9 kg) than the HVAD patients. No significant difference was observed in diagnosis, duration of support, device strategy, or clinical outcome. One patient (2%) experienced a stroke during 6,920 days of support. Forty of the 45 (89%) patients to reach a clinical endpoint experienced a positive outcome (transplant or explant for recovery) while 17 (27%) patients remain on device.


The stroke rate is low and survival good among patients implanted with an intracorporeal cfVAD at ACTION centers using the clinical protocols developed within the network. The HVAD is currently being used more frequently in younger and smaller patients. There has been an appreciable increase in the number and frequency of implants in patients with CHD, especially SV disease, as compared to previous reports. Future efforts within ACTION will focus on improving clinical outcomes as devices are increasingly used at individual centers and as the number of VAD-supported patients with congenital heart disease continues to grow.

Journal Title

The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation





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