Implantable continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (LVAD’s) are increasingly used in end-stage heart failure treatment as a bridge-to-transplant and destination therapy. However, LVAD’s still have major drawbacks, such as infections that can cause morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, appropriate diagnosis of LVAD-related and LVAD-specific infections can be very cumbersome. The differentiation between deep and superficial infections, is crucial in clinical decision-making. Despite a decade of experience in using fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) to diagnose various infections, its use in LVAD patients remains scarce. In this case series, we review the current evidence in literature and describe our single center experience using 18F-FDG PET/CT for the diagnosis and management of LVAD infections.
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Conflict of interest (all authors): none to report
Source of Funding: Institutional resources
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Corresponding author: S. Akin, MD, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Thoraxcenter, Room Ba577, ’s-Gravendijkwal 230, 3015 CE Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 10703 3276, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2017 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs