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Cardiology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 187434, 11 pages
Review Article

Focused Review on Transthoracic Echocardiographic Assessment of Patients with Continuous Axial Left Ventricular Assist Devices

1Division of Cardiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
2Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street S.W. Rochester, MN 55905, USA
3Department of Anesthesiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
4Department of Cardiac Surgery, Montreal Heart Institute, Montreal, QC, H1T1C8, Canada

Received 2 November 2010; Accepted 17 December 2010

Academic Editor: Dirk Westermann

Copyright © 2011 Yan Topilsky et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are systems for mechanical support for patients with end-stage heart failure. Preoperative, postoperative and comprehensive followup with transthoracic echocardiography has a major role in LVAD patient management. In this paper, we will present briefly the hemodynamics of axial-flow LVAD, the rationale, and available data for a complete and organized echocardiographic assessment in these patients including preoperative assessment, postoperative and long-term evaluation.