Ventricular assist device

Dr Henry Knipe and Maedeh Dorri et al.

Ventricular assist devices (VAD) are a mechanical circulatory support device, which is providing an effective therapy for a significant number of patients with advanced heart failure. There are mostly left VADs, although right VADs are also implanted. 

  • inflow cannulas 
  • electrically supplied pump
  • outflow cannula
  • driveline 
  • external controller

The patient’s cardiac function and the speed settings of the VAD determine the amount of blood flow that is pumped by this device.

  • bridge to transplant: VADs have considerably improved the care of patients awaiting heart transplantation
  • destination therapy: patients implanted as “destination therapy” will remain on the VAD for the rest of their lives
  • bridge to recovery: temporary VAD provides support for a few days or weeks
  • perioperative hemorrhage
  • air embolism
  • right ventricular failure after left VAD implantation
  • infection
  • thromboembolism
  • device malfunction/failure
  • pump thrombosis
  • stroke
  • dysrhythmia
  • aortic regurgitation

As long as patient use this device, LVAD function, patient perfusion, and mean arterial pressure are being assessed and anticoagulation (warfarin) and antiplatelet therapy have to be used.

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Article information

rID: 68308
System: Cardiac
Tag: refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Ventricular assist device - overview
  • Ventricular assist device (VAD)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: LVAD
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  • Case 2: left and right VADs
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