Left Ventricular Assist Device- Related Complications

DOI: 10.2478/jce-2020-0014


Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) has emerged as a safe, durable, and revolutionary therapy for end-stage heart failure patients. Despite the appearance of newer-generation devices that have improved patient outcomes, the burden of adverse events remains significant. Although the survival rate for patients with LVAD is appreciated to be 81% at 1 year and 70% at 2 years, the incidence of adverse events is also high. Over time, both early and late postimplant complications have diminished in terms of prevalence and impact; however, complications, such as infections, bleeding, right heart failure, pump thrombosis, aortic insufficiency, or stroke, continue to represent a challenge for the practitioner. Therefore, the aim of this review is to highlight the most recent data regarding the current use of LVAD in the treatment of end-stage heart failure, with a specific focus on LVAD-related complications, in order to improve device-related outcomes. It will also revise how to mitigate the risk and how to approach specific adverse events. Withal, understanding the predisposing risk factors associated with postimplant complications, early recognition and appropriate treatment help to significantly improve the prognosis for patients with end-stage heart failure.