Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

J Heart Lung Transplant


Introduction: Explantation of left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) after left ventricular (LV) recovery is estimated to occur in 1-2% of cases. Herein, we present a case of hemodynamic and echocardiographic assessment of LV recovery during outflow graft balloon occlusion leading to LVAD explantation.

Case Report: A 56-year-old female with medical history of systolic heart failure due to non-ischemic cardiomyopathy with LVEF 25%. She underwent an urgent HeartMate 3 LVAD implant after an admission for cardiogenic shock. Post LVAD course was complicated by driveline infection. History was notable for admissions due to low-flow alarms in the setting of dehydration. On echocardiogram, progressive LVEF improvement was noted although with suboptimal images. CT angiography did not demonstrate any occlusion of the cannulas. Right heart catheterization showed stable cardiac index despite minimal flow on LVAD. Cardiopulmonary testing was favorable. After multi-disciplinary discussion, patient underwent LVAD wean study in the cath lab under hemodynamic and transesophageal echo (TEE) guidance with therapeutic anticoagulation. LVAD was turned off for 10 minutes with outflow graft occluded by Armada 14 mm x 20 cm peripheral balloon. Wiring of the outflow graft from aorta and balloon occlusion were visualized by TEE (Figure). The left and right ventricular function were similar to baseline with no change in mitral regurgitation. Cardiac index was normal (Figure). Patient subsequently underwent successful LVAD explant. She is doing well with NYHA class I symptoms and LVEF 45-50% noted upon 3-months follow-up LVAD explantation is a feasible option in LV recovery after appropriate hemodynamic and echocardiographic assessment. TEE is an essential tool, especially in patients with suboptimal windows. Outflow graft balloon occlusion can be used if there is concern about falsely poor results related to backflow or ongoing LVAD support at low speed leading to falsely improved results.





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