How Are We Monitoring Brain Injuries in Patients with Left Ventricular Assist Device? A Systematic Review of Literature

Tracey H. Fan, Catherine E. Hassett, Ibrahim Migdady, Carrie Price, Chun Woo Choi, Irene Katzan, Sung Min Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Despite the common occurrence of brain injury in patients with left ventricular assist device (LVAD), optimal neuromonitoring methods are unknown. A systematic review of PubMed and six electronic databases from inception was conducted until June 5, 2019. Studies reporting methods of neuromonitoring while on LVAD were extracted. Of 5,190 records screened, 37 studies met the inclusion criteria. The neuromonitoring methods include Transcranial Doppler ultrasound for emboli monitoring (TCD-e) (n = 13) and cerebral autoregulation (n = 3), computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (n = 9), serum biomarkers (n = 7), carotid ultrasound (n = 3), and near-infrared spectroscopy (n = 2). Of 421 patients with TCD-e, thromboembolic events (TEs) were reported in 79 patients (20%) and microembolic signals (MES) were detected in 105 patients (27%). Ischemic stroke was more prevalent in patients with MES compared to patients without MES (43% vs.13%, p < 0.001). Carotid ultrasound for assessing carotid stenosis was unreliable after LVAD implantation. Elevated lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels were associated with TEs. Significant heterogeneity exists in timing, frequency, and types of neuromonitoring tools. TCD-e and serial LDH levels appeared to have potential for assessing the risk of ischemic stroke. Future prospective research incorporating protocolized TCD-e and LDH may assist in monitoring adverse events in patients with LVAD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-156
Number of pages8
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Hemorrhagic stroke
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Lvad
  • Neurologic monitoring
  • Neuromonitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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