In full flow: Left ventricular assist device infections in the modern era

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


With the rising prevalence of heart disease in the United States, there is increasing reliance on durable mechanical circulatory support (MCS) to treat patients with end-stage heart failure. Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), the most common form of durable MCS, are implanted mechanical pumps that connect to an external power source through a transcutaneous driveline. First-generation LVADs were bulky, pulsatile pumps that were frequently complicated by infection. Second-generation LVADs have an improved design, though infection remains a common and serious complication due to the inherent nature of implanted MCS. Infections can affect any component of the LVAD, with driveline infections being the most common. LVAD infections carry significant morbidity and mortality for LVAD patients. Therefore, it is paramount for the multidisciplinary team of clinicians caring for these patients to be familiar with this complication. We review the epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of LVAD infections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2020


  • Cardiac device infection
  • Driveline infection
  • Left ventricular assist device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Neurology


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