Continuous Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device Therapy

Continuous Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device Therapy: A Focused Review on Optimal Patient Selection and Long-Term Follow-up Using Echocardiography

Authors: Vilaro, Juan R.; Szady, Anita; Ahmed, Mustafa M.; Dawson, Jacqueline; Aranda, Juan M.

Despite widespread awareness and use of scientifically proven life-prolonging medical and device-based therapies over the last two decades, heart failure remains a leading cause of morbidity, mortality, and health care expenditure in the United States. Mechanical circulatory support with a continuous-flow left ventricular assist device (CF-LVAD), either as a bridge to heart transplantation or as destination therapy, is an increasingly used treatment modality for patients with advanced heart failure syndromes that worsen despite their receiving standard therapies. CF-LVAD support creates unique hemodynamic alterations that must be understood to provide appropriate care for these patients before and after implantation. Echocardiography is essential in the evaluation of patients who are being considered for or are mechanically supported by CF-LVADs. Here we provide a focused clinical review on the use of echocardiography in two main aspects of the evaluation of these patients: (a) optimal patient selection for CF-LVAD support and (b) follow-up assessment of optimal pump function.

Document Type: Research Article