Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) is an underrecognized phenomenon in patients with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVAD). Previously, there has been an optimistic expectation of a benign clinical course; however, AMI in LVAD-supported patients can result in profound consequences and management remains controversial. We describe a case series of AMI in four CF-LVAD patients, each with a different presentation, clinical course, treatment, and outcome. The clinical variability and mixed outcomes of these patients highlights the unique challenges in diagnosis and management of AMI in this population, particularly the uncertain role of percutaneous intervention (PCI), and underscores the potentially poor prognosis of this entity. Several key points emerge from this review. First, LVAD-supported patients frequently have underlying abnormalities on the electrocardiogram (ECG) that obscure the diagnosis of AMI. Second, clinicians should have a high degree of suspicion for AMI in the presence of suggestive clinical features, elevated cardiac biomarkers, or new-onset ventricular arrhythmias. Third, the decision to proceed with PCI requires careful evaluation of the risk of hemorrhage, and strong consideration should be given to the use of bleeding avoidance strategies during and after PCI.
- aortic valve thrombus