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18F-FDG PET/CT in the diagnosis and management of continuous flow left ventricular assist device infections: A Case Series and Review of the Literature.

Akin, Sakir MD; Muslem, Rahat BSc; Constantinescu, Alina A. MD PhD; Manintveld, Olivier C. MD PhD; Birim, Ozcan MD, PhD; Brugts, Jasper J. MD, PhD, MSc, FESC; Maat, Alexander P.W.M MD; Fröberg, Alida C. MD; Bogers, Ad J.J.C. MD, PhD; Caliskan, Kadir MD PhD
doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000552
Case Series: PDF Only

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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