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2017 | 89(1) | 61-65
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Splenic abcesses as infectious complication following implantation of left ventricular asssist device - case report

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Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is one of the modern management therapies in patients with advanced heart failure, and it serves as a bridge to heart transplantation or even as destination therapy. However, it is burdened with a high risk of thromboembolic, hemorrhagic, and infectious complications despite prophylactic management. Splenic abscesses, as septic complications following implantation of mechanical ventricular support, have not yet been described in the literature. We report of a patient with severe left ventricular insufficiency (NYHA II/III), pulmonary hypertension, and arrhythmia who underwent implantation of the Heart Ware® pump for left ventricular support with simultaneous tricuspidvalvoplasty, as a bridge therapy to heart transplantation. During two years after LVAD implantation, the patient had three MRSA skin infections, localized at the exit site of the drive-line connecting the artificial ventricle with external unit, that were complicated by sepsis and treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics. A few months later, abdominal CT revealed two abscesses in the spleen, and the patient was qualified for splenectomy. Open splenectomy was performed under full-dose anticoagulant therapy with continuous intravenous infusions of unfractionated heparin (UFH). The intra- and postoperative course was uneventful. UFH therapy was continued for 6 days, and oral anticoagulation was re-administered on day 4 after surgery. The patient was discharged on day 7 after surgery with primary healed wound. Open splenectomy, performed with full-dose anticoagulant therapy, proved to be an effective and definitive method of treatment without any complications.
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