Management of Antiplatelet Therapy During Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device Support After Thrombotic Hemorrhagic Events

ASAIO J. 2019 Sep/Oct;65(7):683-689. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000935.


Hemorrhagic or thrombotic events are common complications in heart failure patients with continuous-flow left ventricular assist device (CF-LVAD) support. Aim of this study is to investigate the effect of change in antiplatelet therapy after thrombotic or hemorrhagic events in patients with CF-LVAD support. A total of 231 CF-LVAD patients were included in this study. Patients with CF-LVAD were categorized into three groups: (1) high antiplatelet regimen as control group (aspirin [ASA] 325 mg; n = 115), (2) low antiplatelet regimen (ASA 81 mg; n = 82), started after hemorrhagic complications, and (3) double antiplatelet therapy (ASA/clopidogrel; n = 34) started after thrombotic complications. In our analysis, indications for low antiplatelet therapy were gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding (36%), hemorrhagic stroke (8%), and epistaxis (9%). Freedom from major bleeding events after changing therapy was comparable at 1 year for all three groups respectively 96%, 97%, and 91% (log rank = 0.421). Major indications for double antiplatelet therapy were pump thrombosis (15%) and coronary artery stent placement (2.5%). Freedom from thrombotic events after changing therapy was comparable at 1 year for groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, 97%, 98%, and 91% (log rank = 0.317). Logistic regression shows that Heartmate II patients required more antiplatelet therapy changes compared with HeartWare (odds ratio [OR]: 3.611, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.8-6.9; p = 0.0001). HeartMate II required more adjustment of antiplatelet therapy during follow-up. Reducing or increasing antithrombotic therapies in response to major thrombotic hemorrhagic events in CF-LVAD patients is a safe strategy to avoid recurrences.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Heart-Assist Devices / adverse effects*
  • Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombosis / drug therapy*
  • Thrombosis / etiology


  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors