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Ventricular Assist Device Thrombosis Following Recovery of Left Ventricular Function

Sifain, Andrew R.; Schwarz, Karl Q.; Hallinan, William; Massey, H. Todd; Alexis, Jeffrey D.

doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000036
Case Reports

Although ventricular assist devices (VADs) are lifesaving therapy for patients with severe heart failure, complications such as pump thrombosis can occur. In this report, we present a case of VAD thrombosis following recovery of left ventricular (LV) function. The patient had been supported with a VAD for 8 months, and at the time of presentation, echocardiography revealed near normal native systolic function, aortic valve opening with significant native heart ejection, reduced systolic flow in the outflow and inflow cannulae, and no forward flow through the VAD during diastole. The patient underwent successful VAD explant and examination of the pump revealed thrombus on the rotor. We propose that abnormal flow through the VAD seen with recovery of LV function may contribute to VAD thrombosis.

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From the Department of Medicine, Department of Surgery, and Department of Anesthesiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, New York.

Submitted for consideration July 2013; accepted for publication in revised form November 2013.

Disclosure: The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

Reprint Requests: Andrew R. Sifain, MD, Department of Anesthesia, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box 604, Rochester, NY. Email:

Copyright © 2014 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs