Introduction: Inflammatory processes are well-characterized risk factors in cardiovascular disease including advanced heart failure. Previous studies have utilized individual white cell subtypes in risk analysis, and a recent study has focused on the efficacy of the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio in evaluating negative outcomes following left ventricular assist device implantation. To investigate the interaction between the left ventricular assist device and white cell counts, we assessed longitudinal changes in neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio following left ventricular assist device implantation. Methods: This retrospective study included 100 patients who underwent left ventricular assist device implantation between 2012 and 2013. The neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio was calculated prior to left ventricular assist device implantation, daily for the first 30 postoperative days, and at the first two postoperative outpatient visits. Preoperative demographic and clinical data were collected for all patients. Results: The mean neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio immediately before left ventricular assist device implantation was 5.2 ± 4.9. After surgery, the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio decreased asymptotically, from a peak of 29.2 on postoperative day 1 to 4.1 at the second outpatient visit (p < 0.001). Lack of improvement in the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio at postoperative day 10 was associated with increased length of stay, right heart failure, and a trend toward worsened survival. Conclusion: Our results indicate a significant inflammatory response to implantation of the left ventricular assist device, a known effect. The magnitude of this response may be effectively and easily monitored over time using the neutrophilto- lymphocyte ratio. In general, approximately 30 days is required for the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio to return to preoperative levels. After several months, the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio improves to below preoperative levels. It is possible that this reduction reflects the reversal of various heart failure–mediated inflammatory processes following left ventricular assist device implantation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering