Conference Coverage

MOMENTUM 3 HeartMate 3 LVAD ‘practice changing’

Dr. Hossein Almassi, FCCP

G. Hossein Almassi, MD, FCCP, comments: The reported 2- year follow-up results of MOMENTUM 3 trial on the new generation HeatMate-III magnetically levitated LVAD gives more hope to patients with end-stage heart failure for a better quality of life and longer survival and opens new doors for potentially becoming an alternative to cardiac transplantation for patients with a long waiting time on the transplant list.



MOMENTUM 3 is the largest-ever randomized trial of LVAD therapy, involving 1,028 advanced heart failure patients at 69 U.S. centers. The study population is a mix of bridge-to-transplant patients and others who weren’t eligible for heart transplantation and are using their device as lifelong destination therapy. In an earlier report on the first 294 patients to reach 6 months of follow-up post implantation, Dr. Mehra and his coinvestigators showed that the HeartMate 3 group had a significantly lower incidence of the composite endpoint of disabling stroke or reoperation to replace or remove the device (N Engl J Med. 2017 Feb 2;376[5]:440-50).

At ACC 2018, he presented the prespecified 2-year analysis of results in the first 366 patients to reach that benchmark. The rate of survival free of disabling stroke or reoperation for device malfunction was 79.5% in the HeartMate 3 group and 60.2% with the HeartMate II, for a highly significant 54% reduction in the risk of bad outcome. Reoperation for device malfunction occurred in 1.6% of HeartMate 3 patients versus 17% of those with a HeartMate II, for a 92% reduction in risk. Two-year survival was 82.8% in the HeartMate 3 group and 76.2% in HeartMate II recipients.

The overall stroke rate was 10% with the HeartMate 3, compared with 19% with the older, axial-flow LVAD. The incidence of disabling stroke was 3% in the HeartMate 3 group and similar at 2% with the HeartMate II; however, nondisabling stroke occurred in only 3% of HeartMate 3 recipients, compared with 14% of patients with the HeartMate II.

“There has always been this notion that, ‘There are so many complications with this device, so let’s suffer with the disease rather than suffer with the pump.’ Now we’re showing that you don’t suffer with the pump as with the earlier-generation devices. I think this is going to open the gates for more referrals and more opportunities for destination therapy in patients who are deemed ineligible for transplant,” Dr. Mehra predicted.

Dr. James L. Januzzi Jr. Bruce Jancin/Frontline Medical News

Dr. James L. Januzzi Jr.

Discussant James L. Janzuzzi Jr., called the MOMENTUM 3 results “a very-much-needed step forward.”

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