Management and outcome of left ventricular assist device infections in patients undergoing cardiac transplantation

Zerelda Esquer Garrigos, Natalia E. Castillo Almeida, Pooja Gurram, Prakhar Vijayvargiya, Cristina G. Corsini Campioli, John M. Stulak, Stacey A. Rizza, Larry M. Baddour, M. Rizwan Sohail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background. Postoperative management of patients undergoing cardiac transplantation with an infected left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is unclear. Methods. We retrospectively screened all adults with an LVAD who underwent cardiac transplantation at our institution from 2010 through 2018. We selected all cases of LVAD-specific and LVAD-related infections who were receiving antimicrobial therapy as initial treatment course or chronic suppression at the time of cardiac transplantation. Non-LVAD infections, superficial driveline-infection, or concurrent use of right ventricular assist device or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation device were excluded. Results. A total of 54 cases met study criteria with 18 of 54 (33.6%) classified as LVAD- specific or related infections and 36 of 54 (66.6%) as noninfected. cases of lvad infection had a higher median charlson comorbidity Index score at the time of transplantation compared with noninfected cases (P =.005). Of the 18 cases of infection, 13 of 18 (72.2%) were classified as LVAD-specific and 5 of 18 (27.8%) were classified as LVAD-related. Nine of 13 (69.2%) cases had proven LVAD-specific infections. Antimicrobial therapy was extended posttransplant to treat preceding LVAD-specific infection in all 9 cases (9 of 13, 69.2%) with a median duration of 14 days (interquartile range, 14-28). After LVAD removal, antimicrobial treatment was not continued for preceding LVAD-related infections. Conclusions. Patients with an LVAD-specific infection were treated with 2 weeks of pathogen-directed therapy postheart transplant without any relapses. For those without LVAD-specific infection or uncomplicated LVAD-related bacteremia who had completed antimicrobial therapy pretransplant, antibiotics were discontinued after standard perioperative prophylaxis and no relapses were observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberofaa303
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Heart transplant
  • Left ventricular device infections
  • Management
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology


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