Continuous-flow left ventricular assist device support in patients with advanced heart failure: points of interest for the daily management

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Today, continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (cf-LVADs) are implanted more often in patients with end-stage heart failure. Because of greater durability they can be implanted for an extended period of time. As a result of increased numbers of patients on cf-LVAD support, healthcare professionals should be aware of the potential complications inherent to this therapy. Both bleeding and thrombosis may occur, and also complications related either to the device itself or to the ensuing altered haemodynamics, valvular pathology, and rhythm disturbances such as ventricular tachycardias and fibrillation. Accurate clinical evaluation, together with an electrocardiogram and, if necessary, combined with an echocardiogram, is obligatory in these situations. This review summarizes common complications complemented by a few clinical cases.

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