A 13-year obese female with suspected viral myocarditis presented with acute decompensated heart failure. Due to her body habitus, she was a poor candidate for immediate heart transplantation. A peripherally inserted left ventricular assist device (LVAD) was implanted via the right axillary artery. Following device insertion the patient experienced rapid improvement in symptoms. The LVAD provided effective left ventricular unloading for 50 days, promoting myocardial recovery and maintaining excellent patient performance status. The device placement strategy allowed for a high level of activity including completion of school-work and participation in a weight loss program. The patient achieved a 28-pound weight loss, thus improving candidacy for transplantation. Removal of the device was well tolerated and post-removal echocardiography revealed an improvement in the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) from 21% at baseline to 38% after device removal. This case represents a successful application of a peripherally inserted LVAD as a bridge to transplant in a pediatric patient with severe heart failure due to suspected viral myocarditis. For select patients with this condition, a transaxillary LVAD should be considered as a therapeutic option as it is well tolerated and provides effective left ventricle unloading to promote myocardial recovery and maintain performance status.
- Congestive heart failure
- Mechanical circulatory support
- Percutaneous left ventricular assist device
- Viral myocarditis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine