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Despite advances in pump technology, thromboembolic events/acute pump thrombosis remain potentially life-threatening complications in patients with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVAD). We sought to determine early signs of thromboembolic event/pump thrombosis in patients with CF-LVAD, which could lead to earlier intervention.
We analysed all HeartMate II recipients (n = 40) in our centre between December 2006 and July 2013. Thromboembolic event/pump thrombosis was defined as a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), ischaemic cerebrovascular accident (CVA), or pump thrombosis.
During median LVAD support of 336 days [IQR: 182–808], 8 (20 %) patients developed a thromboembolic event/pump thrombosis (six TIA/CVA, two pump thromboses). At the time of the thromboembolic event/pump thrombosis, significantly higher pump power was seen compared with the no-thrombosis group (8.2 ± 3.0 vs. 6.4 ± 1.4 W, p = 0.02), as well as a trend towards a lower pulse index (4.1 ± 1.5 vs. 5.0 ± 1.0, p = 0.05) and a trend towards higher pump flow (5.7 ± 1.0 vs. 4.9 ± 1.9 L m, p = 0.06).
The thrombosis group had a more than fourfold higher lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) median 1548 [IQR: 754–2379] vs. 363 [IQR: 325–443] U/L, p = 0.0001). Bacterial (n = 4) or viral (n = 1) infection was present in 5 out of 8 patients. LDH > 735 U/L predicted thromboembolic events/pump thrombosis with a positive predictive value of 88 %.
In patients with a CF-LVAD (HeartMate II), thromboembolic events and/or pump thrombosis are associated with symptoms and signs of acute haemolysis as manifested by a high LDH, elevated pump power and decreased pulse index, especially in the context of an infection.
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Kirklin JK, Naftel DC, Kormos RL, et al. Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) analysis of pump thrombosis in the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2014;33(1):12–22. [Multicenter Study.Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t]. CrossRefPubMed
- Haemolysis as a first sign of thromboembolic event and acute pump thrombosis in patients with the continuous-flow left ventricular assist device HeartMate II
R.T. van Domburg
- Bohn Stafleu van Loghum