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Electrical storm after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation.

INTRODUCTION: Ventricular tachycardia storm or electrical storm (ES) is a common complication following left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. The factors contributing to ES and outcomes are less studied. The study aimed to determine the factors associated with ES and the probability of survival in patients undergoing LVAD in three tertiary centers over a span of 15 years.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study on all patients who underwent LVAD implantation at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Phoenix, and Jacksonville) from January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2020. ES was defined as ≥3 episodes of sustained ventricular tachycardia over a period of 24 h with no identifiable reversible cause. Detailed chart reviews of the electronic health records within the Mayo Clinic and outside medical records were performed.

RESULTS: A total of 883 patients who underwent LVAD implantation were included in our study. ES occurred in 7% (n = 61) of patients with a median of 13 days (interquartile range [IQR]: 5-297 days) following surgery. We found 57% of patients (n = 35) developed ES within 30 days, while 43% (n = 26) patients developed ES at a median of 545  (IQR 152-1032) days after surgery. Following ES, 26% of patients died within 1 year. Patients with ES had a significant association with a history of ventricular arrhythmias and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) shocks before the procedure. ES was significantly associated with reduced survival compared to patients without ES (hazards ratio [HR]: 1.92, 95% CI: 1.39-2.64, p < .001).

CONCLUSION: Following LVAD implantation, the rate of ES was 7% with majority of ES occurring within 30 days of LVAD. Risk factors for ES included pre-implant history of ventricular arrhythmias and ICD shock. ES was significantly associated with reduced survival compared to patients without ES.

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