Improved diabetic control in advanced heart failure patients treated with left ventricular assist devices

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AimsLeft ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are increasingly used as therapeutic options for patients with advanced congestive heart failure (CHF), many of whom suffer from diabetes mellitus (DM). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of restoration of normal cardiac output using LVAD support on diabetes control in patients with advanced CHF.Methods and resultsA retrospective chart review of all clinic patients supported with long-term LVADs between July 2008 and July 2009 at Columbia University Medical Center was performed. Patients with DM diagnosed prior to device implantation were included in this analysis. Clinical and laboratory data within 1 month preceding and 6 months following LVAD implantation were collected. Of 43 LVAD patients followed in our clinic during the study period, 15 had a diagnosis of DM. Thirteen of the 15 patients were male, mean age was 63 ± 11 years, and the pre-LVAD left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 16.5 ± 5.7%. Fasting glucose levels, HbA1c, and daily insulin requirement within 1 month before and an average of 4.0 ± 2.3 months after LVAD placement were 157.7 ± 50.6 vs. 104.1 ± 21.4 mg/dL, 7.7 ± 0.9 vs. 6.0 ± 0.8.%, and 53.3 ± 51.7 vs. 24.2 ± 27.2 IU, respectively (P < 0.05 for all comparisons). Six of the 15 patients were completely free of antidiabetic medications and had blood glucose <126 mg/dL as well as HbA1c <6% after LVAD. Body mass index (BMI) was slightly increased after LVAD (28.7 ± 5.3 vs. 30.2 ± 4.1 kg/m2, P NS).ConclusionRestoration of normal cardiac output after LVAD implantation improves diabetic control in patients with advanced CHF. Additional studies are warranted to determine the mechanisms that worsen or possibly induce DM in patients with advanced CHF.

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