The Role of Computed Tomography in Predicting Left Ventricular Assist Device Infectious Complications

J Clin Imaging Sci. 2016 Oct 21:6:43. doi: 10.4103/2156-7514.192835. eCollection 2016.


Objective: The purpose of this study is to identify early computed tomography findings around the driveline which would predict mediastinal or left ventricular assist device (LVAD) pocket abscess formation.

Materials and methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on 128 LVAD recipients between January 2007 and December 2011. Infectious complications were subdivided into those affecting the driveline and those resulting in abscess formation either around the LVAD pump or mediastinum. The size and location of infiltrative changes surrounding the driveline were used to predict infection propagation resulting in abscess.

Results: Of the 128 patients, 49 (38.3%) patients developed driveline infections and 24 (18.8%) patients developed abscess. 87.5% patients who developed abscess had a preceding driveline infection. The mean time from driveline infection to the development of pump pocket abscess was approximately 7 months. In addition, patients with abscess in the pump pocket or mediastinum had preceding infiltrative changes surrounding the driveline ≥14 mm (P = 0.0001). A preperitoneal location and size of infiltrative changes ≥14 mm were correlated with a higher likelihood of abscess formation (P = 0.0002).

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates the predictive value of infection/infiltrative changes around the driveline, which increases the risk for abscess formation in the LVAD pump pocket and/or in the mediastinum.

Keywords: Abscess; driveline; left ventricular assist device; mediastinal; pump.