HeartMate-II left ventricular assist device infections resulting from gastrointestinal-tract fistulas

J Card Surg. 2012 Sep;27(5):643-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8191.2012.01517.x.


Background: In patients with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), pump-related infection can cause adverse effects that may result in death.

Methods: We describe three patients who had infections related to a fistula between the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the LVAD pocket and who subsequently underwent successful heart transplantation without developing sepsis. In no case did the LVAD-related infection adversely affect the outcome of transplantation.

Conclusions: For detecting the fistulas, full upper-GI endoscopy and colonoscopy were superior to other types of diagnostic imaging studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastric Fistula / complications*
  • Gastric Fistula / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure / surgery
  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Fistula / complications*
  • Intestinal Fistula / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / etiology*
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / physiopathology
  • Prosthesis-Related Infections / therapy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sampling Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome