Background. Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are being used as bridges to heart transplantation (HT). Infection of the LVAD in this patient population represents a serious complication, as simple LVAD removal or delaying HT may result in death. To improve outcomes in this group of patients, we performed HT in the presence of LVAD infection. Methods. Eighteen patients underwent LVAD implantation followed by HT. Ten underwent HT in the absence of LVAD infection (group 1); and 8, in the presence of LVAD infection (group 2). All patients were treated similarly except for modification of immunosuppression in group 2 patients. Results. Infectious and noninfectious complications were equivalent between the two groups. There was no difference between groups in regard to intraoperative deaths (one versus none), long-term survival (8/10 versus 7/8), wound complications (three versus none), and mean length of hospital stay after HT (21 versus 26 days). Conclusions. Patients with LVAD infection are too seriously ill to allow LVAD removal or delay of HT. Transplantation in the face of infection is an effective treatment option.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine