While cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation occurs in immunocompetent patients who are critically ill and has been associated with worse outcomes, very few cases of CMV reactivation have been reported following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. We aimed to evaluate the incidence and risk factors for CMV reactivation following LVAD implantation. Retrospective chart review of patients who had undergone LVAD implantation between July 2004 and December 2018 was performed. Cases with CMV reactivation post-LVAD were randomly matched (1:2) by sex, LVAD type, and implant year with controls utilizing SAS macros. Fisher's exact and paired sample t-tests were performed to evaluate for differences between categorical and continuous variables, respectively. Days to reactivation post-LVAD implantation were calculated in cases, and the corresponding times post-LVAD implantation were determined in control patients for variable comparisons. Survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method. Of the 349 patients reviewed, 208 (59.6%) patients were seropositive for CMV before LVAD implantation. Of these 208 patients, eight (3.8%) had CMV reactivation following LVAD implantation. The median time to CMV reactivation following LVAD implantation was 21.5 days (range, 6-177). Six (75%) patients had CMV viremia, and the other two had colitis and pneumonia without viremia. In comparison to controls, patients with CMV had higher creatinine levels (p = 0.039) and higher RDW (p = 0.05) and were more likely to have received steroids within the previous week (p = 0.028) and to have concurrent bacterial infection (p = 0.001). CMV reactivation following LVAD implantation is more frequent than expected. Early testing, diagnosis, and treatment in at-risk patients (i.e., renal failure, steroid use, elevated RDW) might improve clinical outcomes.
- left ventricular assist device
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering