In a retrospective study of 330 animals with total artificial hearts (TAH), 103 (31%) had microbially infected thrombi (MIT). The incidence of MIT approximated 75% in the animals surviving more than 100 days. The most common pathogen isolated from animals with MIT was Pseudomonas. Most thrombi appeared to have originated from valve junctions and connectors. Methods to prevent MIT should be aimed at eliminating thrombus formation by improved design and materials and controlling the route of bacterial colonization. These findings suggest that bacterial interaction with the thrombus, device-related bacterial colonization, host immunomodulation, and gut barrier function after TAH implantation need further study.
©1991 American Society of Artificial Internal Organs