A preliminary investigation of symptom pattern and prevalence before and up to 6 months after implantation of a left ventricular assist device

Despite increased use of left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) in patients with advanced or end-stage heart failure; little is known about the reoccurrence of common heart failure symptoms (e.g., fatigue) after LVAD implantation. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and pattern of selected heart failure symptoms and identify changes in symptom patterns before and up to 6 months after LVAD implantation. We used self-report questionnaires to collect data from patients (n = 12) and measure symptoms at baseline, 1 and 2 weeks, and 1, 3, and 6 months after LVAD. We found that high levels of fatigue, anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbance were prevalent during these periods. However, we did not find any significant changes in symptom pattern over time. The preliminary findings set the starting point for large-scale studies fundamental to advances in symptom-management research in LVAD and for other patients living with artificial organs.