Referral to cardiac rehabilitation of patients with left ventricular assist devices in Italy

In recent years, the lack of heart donors caused an increase in the proportion of patients undergoing left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. The clinical complexity of these devices requires a multidisciplinary approach to be extended after hospital discharge. The lack of shared care pathways for these patients may result in an impairment of both of short- and long-term results. Available data show that cardiac rehabilitation (CR) improves physical performance and quality of life. Notwithstanding this, there is a lack of information about its effects on mortality, hospitalizations and major complications. This article is a survey focus on the referral to CR facilities and the number and types of LVAD implanted in Italy. Among the 24 Italian cardiac surgery centers that have been contacted, 22 provided their data: from 2012 to 2014, 260 patients underwent LVAD implantation with an in-hospital post-surgical mortality of 10%, and 77% of patients were admitted to CR facilities. For patients with LVAD, a referral to an inpatient rehabilitation unit may be considered appropriate.

Autori: Scaglione A, Panzarino C, Torri A, Tavanelli M, Toccafondi A, Bordoni B, Ferratini M
Estratto da G Ital Cardiol (Rome). 2016 Nov;17(11):897-902. doi: 10.1714/2498.26190
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