Continuous-flow devices and percutaneous site infections: Clinical outcomes

Daniel J. Goldstein, David Naftel, William Holman, Lavanya Bellumkonda, Salpy V. Pamboukian, Francis D. Pagani, James Kirklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


Background: Although continuous-flow left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support has become standard therapy, the complexities of device and patient management remain a challenge. In particular, percutaneous site infections (PSI) are a serious complication during the post-implant course. We sought to study the incidence, risk factors, and clinical effect of PSI. Methods: Data were obtained from the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) Registry. All adult patients who received a primary intracorporeal continuous flow LVAD between June 2006 and September 2010 were included. Descriptive statistics, Kaplan-Meier depictions, and multivariable analysis in the parametric hazard domain were used for statistical analysis. Results: A total of 239 PSIs were documented in 197 of 2,006 recipients (9.8%) of a continuous-flow LVAD. Mean follow-up was 8.1 months. Mean time to development of a PSI was 6.6 months. At 1 year after implant, nearly 19% of continuous-flow LVAD recipients developed a PSI. Multivariate analysis showed younger age (hazard ratio, 1.20; p < 0.0001) was the only factor predicting a PSI. Continuous-flow LVAD recipients who did not develop a PSI had improved survival (p = 0.004). Twenty-three patients died after development of a PSI. Sepsis was the most common cause of death (26.1%). Conclusions: PSIs occur in approximately 19% of continuous-flow LVAD recipients by 12 months after implant. Young age is the only predictor of PSI. Importantly, development of a PSI adversely affects survival. Efforts to enhance driveline integration and to develop future totally implantable systems are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1151-1157
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Heart and Lung Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2012


  • continuous flow
  • driveline infection
  • left ventricular assist device
  • long term complication
  • percutaneous site infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Transplantation

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