Asymmetric Pattern of Cerebrovascular Lesions in Patients After Left Ventricular Assist Device Implantation

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Abstract

Background and Purpose—

Stroke is a major adverse event after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) surgery. The purpose of this study was to describe differences in hemispheric distribution of stroke in LVAD patients.

Methods—

We reviewed 317 consecutive patients who underwent LVAD surgery between November 2000 and July 2011. Stroke during LVAD support was analyzed.

Results—

In total, 46 strokes occurred at 76.0±96.8 days postoperatively. Among the 46 strokes, 27 events (58.7%) occurred in right hemisphere, 13 events (28.2%) in the left hemisphere, 3 events (8.7%) occurred bilaterally, and 2 events (4.3%) were vertebrobasilar lesions. The right hemispheric stroke was significantly more common in patients with postoperative infection compared with left hemispheric events.

Conclusions—

Stroke after LVAD implantation has a right hemispheric predominance. This finding suggests LVAD-related thrombus in the setting of infection and/or the anatomic configuration of LVAD outflow cannula-ascending aorta anastomosis to be highly associated with stroke after LVAD surgery.

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