Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Info- Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD)

Left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) or biventricular assist devices have become a well-recognised option in the management of acute and chronic heart failure where they may be used as a bridge to transplant or recovery or as a destination therapy. These devices generate either pulsatile or continuous flow and a wide
variety is in current clinical use.

Echocardiography is routinely employed during the intraoperative and postoperative periods for the evaluation of thrombus, mechanical or circulatory problems and ventricular filling and unloading. This imaging modality is very portable, offers dynamic assessment and is ideally suited to the ICU setting.

Chest radiography may be used to assess positioning of the pump and the inflow and outflow cannulae.

CT is useful as a problem solving tool in these patients. It allows visualisation of regions not well seen at ultrasound. CT will allow assessment of the ventricular assist device pocket, the cannulae, the anastomoses, the drive lines, the native vessels and may provide information about ventricular function.

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