Acute appendicitis, while common in younger patients, is an unusual cause for hospitalization among older adults. We report a case series of 3 individuals who had been previously implanted with a continuous-flow left ventricular assist device (CF-LVAD) for end-stage heart failure, and who subsequently developed acute appendicitis. Both axial-flow technology and nonpulsatile systemic blood flow have been implicated as potential causes for bleeding and thrombosis in contemporary LVAD populations(1-3). This case series represents the first report of acute appendicitis as an adverse event following LVAD implantation and represents a patient demographic that would historically be at very low-risk for this illness. Our patients, their presentation, and the associated pathologic findings raise the possibility of a unique link between appendiceal inflammation and CF-LVAD support that warrants attention.
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Roark, Joshua S.; Abisogun, Akinniran A.; and Katz, Jason N.
"Acute Appendicitis: A Potential Complication of Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device Support,"
The VAD Journal:
Vol. 2, Article 17.
Available at: http://uknowledge.uky.edu/vad/vol2/iss1/17