Bleeding Complication Rates Are Higher in Females after Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation
The aims of this analysis were to characterize the burden and timing of bleeding events in females versus males on left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support. A single-center retrospective review of 375 patients receiving continuous-flow LVADs was performed. Bleeding events included gastrointestinal, naso-oropharyngeal, gynecologic (GYN), intracranial hemorrhage (ICH), and mediastinal bleeding. Cox hazard ratios (HRs) [95% CI] and incident event rates for females versus males were calculated. Eighty-four females (22%) and 291 males (78%) received an LVAD. There were 189 patients with 406 bleeding events over a median 399 days of support. Two-year freedom from bleeding was 33 ± 6.2% in females and 46 ± 3.7% in males (p = 0.027). Correlates of bleeding included female sex (adjusted HR = 1.6 [1.1–2.2]) and older age (adjusted HR = 1.2 [1.1–1.3] per 10 years). There was no sex-associated difference in 30 day mediastinal bleeding (males 12%; females 16% at 30 days; overall p = 0.35), but incident event rates for overall bleeding and naso-oropharyngeal bleeding were higher in females (p < 0.05) and trends were noted in ICH (eppy: 0.06 male vs. 0.10 female, p = 0.14). Eight females (10%) experienced 12 GYN bleeding events; five required surgical intervention. In summary, females had a 60% higher hazard of bleeding than males with significant morbidity encountered from mucosa (including vaginal) bleeding. Future large device studies should be inclusive of sex-specific outcomes.