Author + information
- Received October 24, 2017
- Revision received January 11, 2018
- Accepted January 29, 2018
- Published online April 1, 2019.
- Jongho Kim, MD, PhDa,b,
- Erika D. Feller, MDc,
- Wengen Chen, MD, PhDa,
- Yuanyuan Liang, PhDd and
- Vasken Dilsizian, MDa,∗ ()
- aDepartment of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
- bDivision of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Department of Radiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, New York
- cDepartment of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
- dDepartment of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
- ↵∗Address for correspondence:
Dr. Vasken Dilsizian, Department of Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 22 South Greene Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.
Objectives The feasibility of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG PET/CT) for the diagnosis of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) infection has been demonstrated. Beyond the diagnoses of LVAD infection, the authors hypothesized that the pattern and site of the infection along its various components may significantly impact clinical management and patient outcome.
Background In patients with end-stage heart failure, the clinical use of LVAD for destination therapy is on the rise, accompanied by a higher prevalence of infections and serious complications.
Methods FDG PET/CT was performed in 35 heart failure patients with LVAD, 24 with and 11 without clinical suspicion of infection. Microbiology and/or clinical follow-up were used as the final diagnosis standard. Survival rates were compared in patients with and without FDG evidence of infection, and in relation to peripheral (exit wound site or driveline) versus central (cannula or pump) device infection.
Results Of 35 patients, 28 (80%) showed metabolic evidence of LVAD infection: 5 limited to the periphery and 23 with extension to the central components of the device. The remaining 7 patients showed no metabolic evidence of infection, which was confirmed by microbiology and clinical follow-up. When CT images were interpreted independently from the FDG PET and clinical information, only 4 of 35 (11%) suggested the possibility of infection. Fourteen of 28 (50%) infected patients died during a mean of 23 months of follow-up after the diagnosis by FDG PET/CT: 12 (86%) with central infection and only 2 with peripheral infection. By contrast, none of the 7 (0%) noninfected patients died (p = 0.03).
Conclusions FDG PET/CT is a useful technique for identifying LVAD infection and determining the site and pattern of the infection. The latter has clinical management and patient outcome implications.
The authors have reported that they have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose. James Udelson, MD, served as the Guest Editor for this paper.
- Received October 24, 2017.
- Revision received January 11, 2018.
- Accepted January 29, 2018.
- 2019 American College of Cardiology Foundation
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