With the increasing number of LVAD recipients due to lack of donor availability and use of an LVAD as destination therapy, there will be a significant proportion of this population presenting with device related complications. Initial evaluation should be with TEE because conduit obstruction would be a significant complication, among others. As observed in this case report, it is sometimes difficult to noninvasively detect device malfunction, and even surgical exploration left questions unanswered. Echocardiography has been the principal modality used so far to assess the LVAD cannulas. More reliance on Doppler velocities and establishment of a normal range of values and flow profiles of the inflow and outflow cannulas are necessary. Baseline echocardiographic studies could be used for future comparisons. Fluoroscopy and selective angiography have also been reported to be helpful. We would also recommend measuring LV hemodynamics, which have not been previously described, as an additional mode of evaluation of this emerging problem. This case report demonstrates the need for additional noninvasive modalities for diagnosis of ventricular assist device malfunction.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering