Background: The number of patients undergoing implantation of a HeartMate II left ventricular assist device (LVAD; Thoratec Corporation, Pleasanton, Calif) is rising. Ventricular tachyarrhythmia (VA) after placement of the device is common, especially among patients with preoperative VA. We sought to determine whether intraoperative cryoablation in select patients reduces the incidence of postoperative VA. Methods: From January 2009 through September 2010, 50 consecutive patients undergoing implantation of the HeartMate II LVAD were examined. Fourteen of these patients had recurrent preoperative VA. Of those patients with recurrent VA, half underwent intraoperative cryoablation (Cryo: n = 7) and half did not (NoCryo: n = 7). Intraoperatively, patients underwent localized epicardial and endocardial cryoablation via LVAD ventriculotomy. Cryothermal lesions were created to connect scar to fixed anatomic borders in the region of clinical VA. Demographics, risk factors, intraoperative features, and outcomes were analyzed to investigate the feasibility of cryoablation. Results: Thirty-day mortality remained low (n = 1, 2%) among all LVAD recipients. There were no differences in risk factors between groups except that preoperative inotropes were less prevalent in Cryo patients (P = .09). Compared with NoCryo, the Cryo group had significantly decreased postoperative resource use and complications (P < .05). Recurrent postoperative VA did not develop in any of the Cryo patients (P = .02). Conclusions: Postoperative VA can be minimized by preoperative risk assessment and intraoperative treatment. Localized cryoablation in select patients offers promising early feasibility when performed during HeartMate II LVAD implantation. Further prospective analysis is required to investigate this novel approach.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine