Aspergillus left ventricular assist device endocarditis

Alessandro Barbone, Daniela Pini, Paolo Grossi, Angelo Bandera, Eric Manasse, Enrico Citterio, Alessandro Eusebio, Giuseppe Silvaggio, Fabrizio Settepani, Annamaria Municinò, Piergiuseppe Colombo, Erminia Casari, Diego Ornaghi, Edoardo Gronda, Roberto Gallotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support is an established therapy for patients with end-stage heart failure as a bridge to transplant; its usage as an alternative for those patients not eligible for transplant is not an established therapy yet. A 68-year-old male had a Thoratec-Heartmate LVAD implanted as destination therapy. After an uneventful (apart from early fever) recovery in the intensive care unit, the patient developed an intractable high temperature, and generalized sepsis and died 21 days following implant. The white cell blood count never exceeded the guard limits, and the patient succumbed with severe LVAD valve malfunction. At post-mortem examination friable material consisting of fungal hyphae was found on the inflow and outflow valves. According to published clinical trials, infection accounts for more than 40% of mortality in LVAD supported patients. Fungal LVAD endocarditis is a particularly deadly disease. Successful management requires a high level of suspicion and timely institution of antifungal therapy to control the infection. This has led some authors to recommend empiric antifungal therapy in LVAD recipients with culture-negative sepsis unresponsive to broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)876-880
Number of pages5
JournalItalian Heart Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2004


  • Fungal infection
  • Heart failure
  • Left ventricular assist device

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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