Ventricular assist device in patients with prosthetic heart valves

Artif Organs. 2010 Nov;34(11):1030-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1594.2010.01102.x.


Ventricular assist device (VAD) support inpatients with a prosthetic heart valve had previously been considered a relative contraindication due to an increased risk of thromboembolic complications. We report our clinical experience of VAD implantation in patients with prosthetic heart valves, including both mechanical and bioprosthetic valves. The clinical records of 133 consecutive patients who underwent VAD implantation at a single institution from January 2002 through June 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. Six of these patients had a prosthetic valve in place at the time of device implantation. Patient demographics,operative characteristics, and postoperative complications were reviewed.Of the six patients,four were male.The mean age was 57.8 years (range 35–66 years). The various prosthetic cardiac valves included a mechanical aortic valve (n = 2), a bioprosthetic aortic valve (n = 3), and a mechanical mitral valve (n = 1).The indications for VAD support included bridge to transplantation (n = 2), bridge to recovery (n = 1), and postcardiotomy ventricular failure(n = 3). Three patients underwent left ventricular assist device placement and three received a right ventricular assist device. Postoperatively, standard anticoagulation management began with a heparin infusion (if possible)followed by oral anticoagulation.The 30-day mortality was50% (3/6). The mean duration of support among survivors was 194.3 days (range 7–369 days) compared with 16.0 days(range 4–29 days) for nonsurvivors. Of the three survivors,two were successfully bridged to heart transplantation and one recovered native ventricular function.Among the three nonsurvivors,acute renal failure developed in each case, and two developed heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. This study suggests that VAD placement in patients with a prosthethic heart valve, either mechanical or bioprosthetic,appears to be a reasonable option.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / etiology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Bioprosthesis
  • Boston
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Heart Transplantation
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / adverse effects
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / instrumentation*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis* / adverse effects
  • Heart-Assist Devices* / adverse effects
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Thrombocytopenia / chemically induced
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticoagulants
  • Heparin