, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 420-430
Date: 20 Aug 2010

Diagnosis and Management of Right-Sided Heart Failure in Subjects Supported With Left Ventricular Assist Devices

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Opinion statement

Right ventricular failure (RVF) is a cause of major morbidity and mortality in the left ventricular assist device (LVAD) population. Many LVAD candidates have clinical or subclinical right ventricular (RV) dysfunction, and the perioperative period is fraught with insults that may provoke reactive pulmonary vascular hypertension and acute or chronic development of RVF. Thus, preoperative patient optimization using diuretics, pulmonary vasodilators, and inotropes to reduce RV wall stress and improve contractility is critical. An assessment of the LVAD candidate’s risk for developing postoperative RVF is also key, especially in the destination therapy population for whom good options for long-term RV support currently are lacking. Intraoperatively, various pharmacologic and surgical interventions are available to reduce RVF risk. This review discusses RVF diagnosis and management strategies in subjects undergoing LVAD implantation.