Durable Left Ventricular Assist Device Outflow Graft Obstructions: Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes

Carli J. Peters, Robert S. Zhang, Mahesh K. Vidula, Jay Giri, Pavan Atluri, Michael A. Acker, Christian A. Bermúdez, Allison Levin, Kim Urgo, Joyce Wald, Jeremy A. Mazurek, Thomas C. Hanff, Lee R. Goldberg, Dinesh Jagasia, Edo Y. Birati

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1 Scopus citations


Purpose: We report on the clinical course and management of patients supported with durable implantable LVADs who developed outflow graft obstructions at a large academic center. Methods: We performed a retrospective review of patients receiving LVAD support from 2012 through 2020. Patients who developed an outflow graft obstruction diagnosed by computed tomography angiography (CTA) or angiogram were identified, and patient characteristics and outcomes were reported. Results: Of the 324 patients supported by LVAD at our institution, 11 patients (3.4%) were diagnosed with outflow graft obstructions. The most common presentation was low flow alarms, which was present in 10/11 patients, and the remaining patient presented with lightheadedness. Patients had minimal LDH elevation with 8/11 presenting with less than 2-fold the upper limit of normal. Transthoracic echocardiograms were not diagnostic, but CTA enabled non-invasive diagnoses in 8/11 of the patients. Three patients with extrinsic compression of the outflow graft successfully underwent endovascular stent placement, and three patients with outflow cannula kinks received supportive care. Of the five patients diagnosed with intraluminal thromboses, one received a heart transplant, one underwent an outflow graft revision, and three received supportive care due to comorbidities. Conclusion: Outflow graft obstructions remain a rare, but serious complication. The true prevalence of this entity is likely underestimated due to the non-specific clinical presentation. CTA is a pivotal non-invasive diagnostic step. Patients with external compression were successfully treated with endovascular stenting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2430
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 22 Mar 2023

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • LVAD
  • outflow graft
  • stenosis
  • stent


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