Incidence of ventricular arrhythmias in patients on long-term support with a continuous-flow assist device (HeartMate II)

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2009 Jul;28(7):733-5. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2009.03.011.


The incidence of ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF) in patients supported with a continuous-flow left ventricular assist device (LVAD) has not been investigated in detail. In 23 consecutive recipients of a HeartMate II, we analyzed the incidence of VT/VF during a total of 266 months of follow-up. Sustained VT or VF occurred in 52% of the patients, with the majority of arrhythmias occurring in the first 4 weeks after LVAD implantation. VT/VF requiring implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) shock or external defibrillation occurred in 8 patients and significant hemodynamic instability ensued in 3 patients. There were no clear predictors of VT/VF, and it is argued that prophylactic ICD implantation should be considered in patients supported with a continuous-flow LVAD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Defibrillators, Implantable
  • Electric Countershock
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Diseases / therapy
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / epidemiology*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / therapy
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / epidemiology*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy