Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator-related procedures and associated complications in continuous flow left ventricular assist device recipients: A multicenter experience


Advocate Christ Medical Center


Background: Limited data exist regarding complication rates of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices (CRT-D) in patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVAD).

Objective: We describe the incidence and characteristics of ICD- and CRT-D-related procedures and complications in a multicenter LVAD cohort.

Methods: A total of 537 LVAD patients with a pre-existing ICD or CRT-D from 5 centers were included. Details on device type, device therapies, procedural complications, and long-term survival were analyzed.

Results: Of 537 patients, 280 had a CRT-D and 257 had ICD only. During a median follow-up of 538 days, 126 patients underwent generator replacement with significantly higher rate in the CRT group (79 [28.2%] vs 47 [18.3%], P = .0006). Device-related complications occurred in 36 (13%) CRT-D and 20 (8%) ICD patients (P = .06). Incidence of pocket hematoma (3.2% vs 2.7%), infection (4.3% vs 1.6%), and lead malfunction (3.1% vs 2.8%) was similar in both groups, with no effect of device complication on long-term survival (log-rank P = .7). There was a higher incidence of post-LVAD antitachycardia pacing for ventricular arrhythmias in the CRT-D group compared to the ICD group (35% vs 26%, P = .03).

Conclusion: Cardiac implantable electronic device-related procedures are common in LVAD patients. Compared to ICD only, continued CRT-D therapy post-LVAD results in a significantly higher number of generator changes and a trend towards higher device- or lead-related complications. Device-related complications were not associated with reduced survival.

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