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Haemolysis as a first sign of thromboembolic event and acute pump thrombosis in patients with the continuous-flow left ventricular assist device heartmate II

By S. (Sakir) Akin, O.I.I. (Osama Ibrahim Ibrahim) Soliman, A.A. (Alina) Constantinescu, F. (Ferdi) Akca, O. (Ozcan) Birim, R.T. (Ron) van Domburg, O.C. (Olivier) Manintveld and K. (Kadir) Caliskan


Background 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. Methods 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. Results 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%. Conclusions 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

Topics: Haemolysis, HeartMate II, Left ventricular assist device (LVAD), Pump thrombosis, Thromboembolic event
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1007/s12471-015-0786-2
OAI identifier:

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