We examined the relationship between leg extensor muscle strength (LEMS) at discharge and rehospitalization within 1 year in patients with a newly implanted ventricular assist device (VAD). This study included 28 patients who had received a VAD at our institution between October 2013 and February 2019, all of whom had been discharged for 1 year. The patients were divided into two groups according to their LEMS at discharge (higher strength [group H] and lower strength [group L]), based on the median value of the 55.2 kg-force (kgf)/body weight (BW) equation. Exercise performance parameters (e.g., grip strength, 6-min walk distance, and peak VO2) and laboratory data concerning nutritional status were also collected. Nine patients (64.3%) in group L were rehospitalized within 1 year after discharge. The rehospitalization rate was significantly higher in group L than group H (p = 0.020). Compared with discharge, patients exhibited higher grip strength (56.3 vs. 48.6 kg/BW, respectively; p = 0.011), 6-min walk distances (588 vs. 470 m, respectively; p = 0.002), and peak VO2 (15.4 vs. 11.9 mL/min/kg, respectively; p < 0.001) at 1 year after discharge. However, the LEMS (57.4 vs. 58.0 kgf/BW, respectively; p = 0.798) did not increase after discharge in VAD patients who avoided rehospitalization. LEMS at discharge was associated with rehospitalization after VAD surgery; a high LEMS improves the likelihood of avoiding rehospitalization.
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