Background Infections are frequent in pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) patients. In this study we aimed to describe infections in durable VAD patients reported to Pedimacs. Methods Durable VAD data from the Pedimacs registry (September 19, 2012 to December 31, 2015) were analyzed. Infections were described with standard descriptive statistics, Kaplan–Meier analysis and competing outcomes analysis. Results There were 248 implants in 222 patients, with a mean age and a median follow-up of 11 ± 6.4 years and 2.4 patient-months (<1 day to 2.6 years), respectively. Device types were pulsatile flow (PF) in 91 (41%) patients and continuous flow (CF) in 131 (59%) patients. PF patients were younger (4 ± 4 vs 14 ± 4 years; p < 0.0001) and were more likely to have congenital heart disease (25% vs 12%; p = 0.03), prior surgery (53% vs 26%; p < 0.0001) and prior extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (24% vs 7%; p = 0.0003). Infection accounted for 17% (96 of 564) of the reported adverse events (AEs). A non-device infection was most common (51%), followed by sepsis (24%), external pump component infection (20%) and internal pump component infection (5%). Most infections were bacterial (73%) and required intravenous therapy only (77%). The risk of infection in the constant phase was higher in patients with a history of prior infection and in patients with a history of a non-infectious major AEs. Survival was lower after infection only in CF patients (p = 0.008). Conclusions Infection was the most common AE after pediatric VAD implantation. Non-device infections were most common. The best predictor of a future infection was a past infection. CF patients have higher risk of death after an infection.
- adverse events
- continuous-flow device
- pulsatile-flow device
- ventricular assist device
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine