Anesthesia for left ventricular assist device insertion: a case series and review

Ochsner J. 2011 Spring;11(1):70-7.


From October 2008 to June 2010, a total of 42 patients had the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device inserted surgically at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, LA. A retrospective electronic record review was conducted on this series of patients to analyze elements of perioperative anesthetic care, including general anesthetic care, echocardiographic considerations, and blood product usage. Etomidate was used to induce anesthesia for 34 of 42 patients (81%) in this series, with an average dose of 16.5 mg (±6 mg). The average intraoperative fentanyl dose was 1,318 µg (±631 µg). On average, patients were extubated 91 hours (±72 hours) after arrival to the intensive care unit and left on day 9 (±5 days). The average left ventricular ejection fraction of the patients in this series was 13% (±5%). Sixteen patients were evaluated as having severe right-heart dysfunction preoperatively. Two of 42 patients required surgical closure of echocardiographically identified patent foramen ovale. Twelve of 42 patients underwent surgical correction of tricuspid regurgitation. On average, 3 units (±2.6 units) of fresh frozen plasma were transfused intraoperatively and 10 units postoperatively. Intraoperative red blood cell usage averaged 1.1 units (maximum, 7 units), with an average 9.3 units administered in the first 48 hours postoperatively.

Keywords: Anesthesia; heart failure; left ventricular assist device; transesophageal echocardiography.