Delayed sternal closure (DSC) is occasionally adopted after implantation of left ventricular assist device (LVAD). Recent studies suggest that DSC be used for high risk group of patients with coagulopathy, hemodynamic instability or right ventricular failure. However, whether DSC is efficacious for bleeding complication or right ventricular failure is not known. This study is single center analysis of 52 patients, who underwent LVAD implantation. Of those 52 patients, 40 consecutive patients underwent DSC routinely. The sternum was left open with vacuum assist device after implantation of LVAD. Perioperative outcome of the patients who underwent routine DSC were compared with 12 patients who had immediate sternal closure (IC). Mean Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) level of IC group and DSC group were 2.7 and 2.6, respectively. Postoperative bleeding (643 vs. 1469 ml, p < 0.001), duration of inotropic support (109 vs. 172 h, p = 0.034), and time to extubation (26 vs. 52 h, p = 0.005) were significantly increased in DSC group. Length of ICU stay (14 vs. 15 days, p = 0.234) and hospital stay (28 vs. 20 days, p = 0.145) were similar. Incidence of right ventricular failure and tamponade were similar in the two groups. Routine DSC after implantation of an LVAD did not prove to be beneficial in reducing complications associated with coagulopathy and hemodynamic instability including cardiac tamponade or right ventricular failure. We suggest that DSC be selectively applied for patients undergoing LVAD implant.

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Published in Journal of Artificial Organs, v. 21, issue 1, p. 46-51.

© The Author(s) 2017

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