Early decision for a left ventricular assist device implantation is necessary for patients with modifier A

Abstract

Refractory ventricular tachyarrhythmias are life threatening, especially in patients with stage D heart failure, and left ventricular assist device therapy is virtually the sole option to resolve the fatal conditions in many cases. The Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support defines modifier A as complicating recurrent ventricular tachyarrhythmias. However, the optimal timing to implant a left ventricular assist device remains to be determined in less sick patients with modifier A. We experienced three patients with stage D heart failure with revised modifier A, i.e., at least two appropriate operations of implantable cardiac defibrillators within 2 weeks. Two of them were rescued by extracorporeal left ventricular assist device implantation, but one died because of an electrical storm before left ventricular assist device support was available. We would like to emphasize that we should consider implantable left ventricular assist device therapy as soon as possible for those who are assigned modifier A to prevent sudden arrhythmic death.

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