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Left Ventricular Assist Device in Pregnancy

LaRue, Shane MD; Shanks, Anthony MD; Wang, I-wen MD, PhD; Ewald, Gregory MD; Anderson, Diane RN; Joseph, Susan MD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31820fcdaf
Case Reports

BACKGROUND: Left ventricular assist devices have become increasingly common for the treatment of acute and chronic heart failure. It is unclear whether these devices can handle the increased stresses caused by pregnancy.

CASE: An 18-year-old woman received a left ventricular assist device after peripartum cardiomyopathy. The patient was not adherent to prescribed medical regimens until she returned 11 months later, at 33 weeks of gestation. She underwent anticoagulation and inpatient surveillance until a cesarean delivery at approximately 34 weeks (based on ultrasound estimates).

CONCLUSION: Left ventricular assist devices are allowing patients to live with minimal symptoms of heart failure and return to a good quality of life.

A young woman with a left ventricular assist device for peripartum cardiomyopathy delivered a live, near-term neonate.

From the Division of Cardiology, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, Missouri.

Corresponding author: Anthony Shanks, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington University in St. Louis, 660 South Euclid, Campus Box 8064, Saint Louis, MO 63112; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2011 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists