Pre- and Post-Implant Endoscopy in Left Ventricular Assist Device Recipients: A Single-Center Experience

Wael T. Mohamed, Vinay Jahagirdar, Fouad Jaber, Mohamed K. Ahmed, Hassan M. Ghoz, Brett W. Sperry, Wendell K. Clarkston


Background: Gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) is common in left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) patients, but the optimal screening approach before LVAD implantation is still unclear. The aim of the study was to describe our experience with pre- and post-LVAD implantation endoscopic screening and subsequent GI bleeding in this cohort.

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted among all patients who underwent LVAD implantation at Saint Lukes Hospital, between 2010 and 2020. The data were reviewed to determine the yield and safety of endoscopic procedures performed within 1 month before LVAD placement and the incidence of GIB within 1 year after implantation.

Results: A total of 167 LVAD patients met the inclusion criteria, and 23 underwent pre-implantation endoscopic evaluation. Angiodysplasia had a significantly higher odds ratio (OR) of 9.41 (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.01 - 44.09) in post-LVAD endoscopy, while there was no significant difference in bleeding from other sources such as peptic ulcer disease or diverticular bleeding. There was no difference in the incidence of GIB in patients who underwent endoscopic evaluation pre-LVAD compared to post-LVAD GIB (32.6% vs. 39.1%, P = 0.64). Endoscopy was well-tolerated in this cohort, and argon plasma coagulation was the most commonly used intervention to achieve hemostasis.

Conclusions: According to our results, we recommend against routine pre-LVAD endoscopic screening. Instead, we suggest an individualized approach, where decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Gastroenterol Res. 2024;17(1):1-9


Gastrointestinal bleeding; Left ventricular assist device; Endoscopy; Angiodysplasias

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