Clinical Utility of Imaging Left Ventricular Assist Devices with 320 Row Multidetector Computed Tomography

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Evaluation of left ventricular devices is becoming increasingly important as the implantation of these devices increases. Cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) has many potential advantages compared with plain radiographs and echocardiography to troubleshoot these devices and potentially help guide therapy. Heart failure (HF) remains a deadly, progressive disease with substantive and increasing morbidity, mortality, cost, and prevalence. Use of left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) as treatment for refractory HF has been steadily rising during the last decade. Seventy-four LVAD recipients who met an indication for CCTA were referred for scanning at our center for a total of 94 studies. All recipients had received a Heart Mate II (Thoratec, Pleasanton, CA) LVAD at a previous time. All patients underwent gated CCTA on a 320 row multidetector scanner (Aquilion ONE, Toshiba Medical Systems, Irvine, California, USA). Images were then reconstructed and analysis was performed using multiple oblique views. All 94 studies had technically good images. In survival analysis, 43 of the 74 LVAD patients had normal CCTA findings while 31 had abnormal CCTA results. The 6, 12, and 18 months survival was 93%, 79%, and 77% in those with normal results and 71%, 61%, and 61%, respectively, in the abnormal CCTA findings. Overall survival was statistically significant in when comparing the two groups (p = 0.003). Cardiac computed tomography angiography may be used as an aid for risk stratification and a potential indicator of short- and long-term prognosis in LVAD patients.

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