Orthostatic Hypotension in Patients With Left Ventricular Assist Devices: Acquired Autonomic Dysfunction
Contemporary left ventricular assist device (LVAD) technology uses nonphysiologic continuous flow to deliver blood into the circulation. This results in a reduction of pulsatility, which is implicated in some of the commonly associated side effects with LVAD therapy, including hypertension and gastrointestinal arterial-venous malformation with related bleeding. A less frequently observed side effect is orthostatic hypotension (OH) in patients supported with LVAD therapy. We present three cases of OH in patients with LVAD, followed by a discussion on how LVAD therapy may induce autonomic dysfunction.