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.
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.