Clinical implications of left ventricular assist device implantation in patients with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator

J Interv Card Electrophysiol. 2014 Mar;39(2):177-84. doi: 10.1007/s10840-013-9854-y. Epub 2013 Dec 13.


Purpose: This study aims to study the clinical implications of the concomitant use of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).

Methods: In this retrospective study, all patients who underwent LVAD (Heart Mate II) implantation with concomitant ICD therapy at our institution between June 2007 and August 2012 were included. We sought to investigate (1) the electromagnetic interference between LVAD and ICD telemetry, (2) the effect of LVAD implantation on right ventricular (RV) lead parameters and (3) the ventricular tachyarrhythmias (VAs) that occur post-LVAD implantation.

Results: Of the 23 patients (53 ± 9 years, 73 % male, LVEF 19 ± 9 %) included, ICD telemetry was lost in four patients post-LVAD implantation (Saint-Jude-Medical Atlas V-193, V-240, V-243, and Sorin CRT-8750), prompting either use of a metal shield (n = 1), a change in position of the programmer head (n = 1) or ICD replacement (n = 2). LVAD implantation was associated with a decrease in both RV signal amplitude (p = 0.04) and RV impedance (p < 0.01), and a trend towards an increased RV pacing threshold (p = 0.08), without affecting clinical outcome. Eleven patients (47.8 %) experienced VAs after LVAD implantation, which on the whole were well tolerated. Their occurrence was strongly linked to a history of VAs before device implantation (p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Electromagnetic interference between LVADs and ICD telemetry may necessitate ICD replacement. LVAD placement is associated with significant changes in RV lead parameters that have minimal clinical significance. VAs occur in approximately half of LVAD patients seen and their occurrence is strongly related to a history of VAs prior to LVAD implantation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Combined Modality Therapy / adverse effects
  • Combined Modality Therapy / instrumentation
  • Defibrillators, Implantable / adverse effects*
  • Equipment Failure*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / prevention & control*
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / etiology*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / prevention & control*