Conventional radiography and computed tomography of cardiac assist devices

Scheffel, Hans ; Stolzmann, Paul ; Wilhelm, Markus ; Lachat, Mario ; Desbiolles, Lotus ; Leschka, Sebastian ; Frauenfelder, Thomas ; Schertler, Thomas ; Marincek, Borut ; Alkadhi, Hatem

In: European Radiology, 2009, vol. 19, no. 9, p. 2097-2106

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    Patients intended for circulatory support by cardiac assist devices (CAD) usually suffer from end-stage acute or chronic heart failure. Since the introduction of CAD in 1963 by DeBakey and coworkers, the systems have gone through a substantial evolution and have been increasingly used in the intervening decades. The spectrum of CAD includes a variety of systems serving to assist the systolic function of the left ventricle, the right ventricle, or both. Conventional radiography and multislice spiral computed tomography (CT) are the most commonly used radiological techniques for imaging patients with a CAD. CT is very useful for evaluating CAD systems by using both two- and three-dimensional reconstructions of the volumetric data sets. The two techniques together allow for the comprehensive assessment of patients with devices by imaging the in- and outflow cannulae, the anastomoses, the position of the pump, as well as associated complications. A close collaboration with cardiac surgeons with expertise in the field of circulatory support is deemed necessary for adequate image interpretation. This article describes the technical diversity of the currently available CAD systems. The imaging characteristics on conventional radiography and multislice spiral CT as well as the typical complications of their use are demonstrated