Right heart failure post left ventricular assist device implantation

Mihalis Argiriou, Styliani-Maria Kolokotron, Timothy Sakellaridis, Orestis Argiriou, Christos Charitos, Paul Zarogoulidis, Nikolaos Katsikogiannis, Ioanna Kougioumtzi, Nikolaos Machairiotis, Theodora Tsiouda, Kosmas Tsakiridis, Konstantinos Zarogoulidis


Right heart failure (RHF) is a frequent complication following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. The incidence of RHF complicates 20-50% (range, 9-44%) of cases and is a major factor of postoperative morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, despite the fact that many risk factors contributing to the development of RHF after LVAD implantation have been identified, it seems to be extremely difficult to avoid them. Prevention of RHF consists of the management of the preload and the afterload of the right ventricle with optimum inotropic support. The administration of vasodilators designed to reduce pulmonary vascular resistance is standard practice in most centers. The surgical attempt of implantation of a right ventricular assist device does not always resolve the problem and is not available in all cardiac surgery centers.