Joury A, Patel RAG, Wever-Pinzon J, Eiswirth C, Desai S, Bansal A, Krim SR
Background Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) outflow graft obstruction is an uncommon complication but carries significant morbidity and mortality. Here we provide a case series of patients with LVAD intrinsic outflow graft obstruction who are deemed to be a high surgical risk for pump exchange and, therefore, underwent percutaneous intervention with the concomitant use of neuroprotective device-Sentinel cerebral protection system (CPS) (Boston Scientific) to prevent embolic stroke. Methods We retrospectively analyzed patients who underwent LVAD placement in our institution and developed LVAD outflow graft obstruction. The diagnosis of LVAD outflow graft obstruction was confirmed by utilizing various cardiac imaging modalities such as echocardiography and/or computed tomography angiography. All patients were treated with percutaneous intervention and a catheter-based CPS. Results From a total of 501 LVAD implants in our institute, 6 (1.2%) patients with LVAD outflow graft obstruction who underwent percutaneous treatment were included; 4 patients with HeartMate-III LVAD, 1 patient with HeartMate-II LVAD, and 1 patient with HeartWare (HVAD). The median age of patients was 56.5 years at the time of LVAD implantation. The median time from the LVAD implantation to the episode of LVAD outflow obstruction was 1343 days. Utilization of Sentinel CPS resulted in the capture and removal of thrombus/debris in all patients. Conclusions Percutaneous intervention of LVAD outflow graft obstruction is less invasive than surgical pump exchange and an acceptable alternative in properly selected patients. In our experience, utilization of a catheter-based CPS can help in reducing the incidence of periprocedural embolic events.