Early post-operative ventricular arrhythmias in patients with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices.

The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation

PubMedID: 26212658

Garan AR, Levin AP, Topkara V, Thomas SS, Yuzefpolskaya M, Colombo PC, Takeda K, Takayama H, Naka Y, Whang W, Jorde UP, Uriel N. Early post-operative ventricular arrhythmias in patients with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2015;.
BACKGROUND
Ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) are common in patients with a continuous-flow left ventricular assist device (CF-LVAD). The causes and clinical significance of early post-operative VAs have not previously been characterized in these patients. The purpose of this study was to assess the incidence, precipitants, and clinical impact of early VAs in patients supported by CF-LVADs.

METHODS
Patients with a long-term CF-LVAD receiving care between January 1, 2012, and March 1, 2014, were enrolled and followed prospectively. Implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) were interrogated at baseline and throughout the follow-up period. VA was defined as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation lasting >30 seconds or effectively terminated by appropriate ICD tachytherapy or external defibrillation. The primary end-point was the occurrence of early VAs (within 30 days of surgery). Secondary end-points were right ventricular (RV) failure and need for VA ablation.

RESULTS
There were 162 patients enrolled, and 38 (23.5%) experienced at least 1 early VA. Predictors of early VA were a history of pre-operative VAs, non-ischemic cardiomyopathy, and older age. Several conditions frequently encountered in the early post-operative period were identified as possible precipitants for VA episodes. Early VAs were associated with post-operative RV failure, particularly when patients received shocks instead of anti-tachycardia pacing.

CONCLUSIONS
Early VAs are common and are associated with RV failure. ICD shocks, but not anti-tachycardia pacing, for early VAs are associated with acute worsening of RV failure.