Activated Hemostatic Biomarkers in Patients with Implanted Left Ventricle Assist Devices: Are Heparin and/or Clopidogrel Justified?

Jerzy Pacholewicz, Wiktor Kuliczkowski, Jacek Kaczmarski, Michał Zakliczyński, Marcin Garbacz, Marian Zembala, Victor Serebruany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Adequate anticoagulation represents a major problem for left ventricle assist device (LVAD) utilization in patients awaiting heart transplantation as well as for regeneration of the native heart. The proper management of hemostatic abnormalities during LVAD support may improve survival by reducing the incidence of hemorrhagic and/or thromboembolic complications. Case Report: A 40-year-old man with implanted pulsatile LVAD due to dilated cardiomyopathy received aspirin and warfarin. The patient underwent serial weekly monitoring of hemostatic biomarkers including international normalization ratio, prothrombin time, prothrombin activity, activated partial thromboplastin time, fibrinogen, D-dimer, platelet aggregation induced by adenosine diphosphate and arachidonic acid, platelet count, and mean platelet volume. The external pump was exchanged three times - twice because of a clot formation in the blood chamber of the pump, and once according to the standard protocol. Results: LVAD use was consistently associated with enhanced adenosine diphosphate-induced platelet aggregation independent from the timing of clot formation or external pump exchange. Among coagulation indices, increased D-dimer holds predictive value for clot formation. The fibrinogen level peaked before the first pump exchange and was twice as high than the average values. Gradual improvement in exercise capacity was observed 2 years after implantation, after which the patient underwent a controlled stress test in the stop mode of the LVAD and the device was successfully explanted. Conclusions: Serial assessment of hemostatic biomarkers may benefit and triage LVAD patients. Consistent platelet activation during long-term LVAD may justify the addition of clopidogrel, while high D-dimer and/or elevated fibrinogen may indicate adding heparin to the conventional antithrombotic regimen. Randomized evidence is needed to test such a hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-176
Number of pages5
JournalCardiology
Volume131
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 22 2015

Keywords

  • Aspirin
  • Clopidogrel
  • Heart failure
  • Hemostatic biomarkers
  • Heparin
  • Left ventricle assist device
  • Warfarin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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  • Cite this

    Pacholewicz, J., Kuliczkowski, W., Kaczmarski, J., Zakliczyński, M., Garbacz, M., Zembala, M., & Serebruany, V. (2015). Activated Hemostatic Biomarkers in Patients with Implanted Left Ventricle Assist Devices: Are Heparin and/or Clopidogrel Justified? Cardiology, 131(3), 172-176. https://doi.org/10.1159/000375232