The number of patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) continues to increase, and gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy is commonly required in this patient population. We retrospectively reviewed the experience of a single tertiary care center in managing patients with LVADs undergoing GI endoscopy between 2006 and 2013. After hospital dismissal from the LVAD placement, 53 patients underwent 172 GI endoscopic procedures. Gastrointestinal bleeding was the indication for endoscopy in 73.8% of patients. Median age at endoscopy was 66 years, and median time from LVAD implantation to initial endoscopy was 271 days (range, 31-1681 days). Anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy was present within 1 week before 120 of 172 endoscopies (70%) and was withheld or actively reversed in 91 of 120 cases (76%). For sedation/anesthesia during endoscopy, 63 involved care by an anesthesiology team and 109 were performed with nursing sedation protocols. Noninvasive blood pressure techniques (conventional automated cuffs or Doppler pulses) were used for hemodynamic monitoring in 84%, arterial lines in 10%, and no blood pressure recordings documented/charted as inaccurate in 6%. Six patients died within 30 days of endoscopy with one death because of aspiration of blood and multiorgan failure. Patients with LVADs may safely undergo GI endoscopy with various individualized anesthetic/sedation models. Complications after endoscopy likely represent the acuity of this patient population.
- Left ventricular assist device
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering