Heart Failure Symptom Biology in Response to Ventricular Assist Device Implantation

Christopher S. Lee, James O. Mudd, Karen S. Lyons, Quin E. Denfeld, Corrine Y. Jurgens, Bradley E. Aouizerat, Jill M. Gelow, Christopher V. Chien, Emily Aarons, Kathleen L. Grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We have a limited understanding of the biological underpinnings of symptoms in heart failure (HF), particularly in response to left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. Objective: The aim of this study was to quantify the degree to which symptoms and biomarkers change in parallel from before implantation through the first 6 months after LVAD implantation in advanced HF. Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of 101 patients receiving an LVAD for the management of advanced HF. Data on symptoms (dyspnea, early and subtle symptoms [HF Somatic Perception Scale], pain severity [Brief Pain Inventory], wake disturbance [Epworth Sleepiness Scale], depression [Patient Health Questionnaire], and anxiety [Brief Symptom Inventory]) and peripheral biomarkers of myocardial stretch, systemic inflammation, and hypervolumetric mechanical stress were measured before implantation with a commercially available LVAD and again at 30, 90, and 180 days after LVAD implantation. Latent growth curve and parallel process modeling were used to describe changes in symptoms and biomarkers and the degree to which they change in parallel in response to LVAD implantation. Results: In response to LVAD implantation, changes in myocardial stretch were closely associated with changes in early and subtle physical symptoms as well as depression, and changes in hypervolumetric stress were closely associated with changes in pain severity and wake disturbances. Changes in systemic inflammation were not closely associated with changes in physical or affective symptoms in response to LVAD implantation. Conclusions: These findings provide new insights into the many ways in which symptoms and biomarkers provide concordant or discordant information about LVAD response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-182
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • affective symptoms
  • biomarkers
  • heart failure
  • signs and symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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