Kinking of the Outflow Graft, Consequent Ventricular Tachycardia, and the Need for Reoperation in a Patient with Left Ventricular Assist Device
Keywords:LVAD, outflow graft, kinking, Ventricular tachycardia
Background: Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) have become a lifesaving solution for patients awaiting heart transplantation as well as an option to support the failing hearts of non-transplant candidates as a lifelong, or destination therapy (DT). Improvements in LVAD design have enabled greater durability and broader patient applicability, but not without complications. Ventricular arrhythmias in LVAD patients were considered benign in the early days of LVADs, but today are increasingly recognized for their harmful impact on morbidity and quality of life.
Case presentation: We describe a 53-year-old male who underwent HeartWare left ventricular assist device (HVAD) implantation. During the postoperative period, the patient experienced ventricular tachycardia (VT) during a coughing episode, later found on CT to be due to significant angulation of the outflow graft. Following reoperation to shorten the outflow graft, the patient returned to hemodynamic stability, without VT or other arrhythmias.
Conclusions: Innovative strategies in VT prevention and improved clinical outcomes in LVAD patients may be the result of better understanding of characteristics that predispose these patients to VT. This case report showed that an excessively long outflow graft with considerable kinking created significant VT, but reoperation to correct the length of the graft mitigated further VT complications.
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