Does left ventricular assist device increases risks for infections?

Rajendra Karnatak, Joseph V Vyskocil

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) is used for the treatment of stage D heart failure as an alternative to heart transplantation. In recent years, LVAD use as destination therapy has significantly increased. One-year survival post-LVAD implantation is now comparable to heart transplantation. Recent data shows significant reductions in stroke and gastrointestinal bleeding in LVAD recipients, but infections remain a major concern. LVAD-mediated immune dysfunction has been reported in previous studies. Increasing LVAD utilization as destination therapy has shown improved long-term survival but the risk of infections with prolonged duration of LVAD support remained underexplored. In this article, we provide an overview of the infection risks associated with prolonged duration of LVAD support.