BACKGROUND: Recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding is one of the most significant adverse events in patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). METHODS: We enrolled LVAD patients who had received an intramuscular injection of 20 mg octreotide every 4 weeks as secondary prevention for recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding despite conventional medical therapies and repeated transfusions. The frequency of gastrointestinal bleeding and other associated clinical outcomes before and during octreotide therapy were compared. RESULTS: Thirty LVAD patients (66.4 +/- 8.8 years old, 16 men [53%]) received octreotide therapy for 498.8 +/- 356.0 days without any octreotide-associated adverse events. The frequency of gastrointestinal bleeding was decreased significantly during octreotide therapy (from 3.4 +/- 3.1 to 0.7 +/- 1.3 events/year; P < .001), accompanied by significant reductions in red blood cell and flesh frozen plasma transfusions, days in hospital, and need for endoscopic procedures (P < .05 for all). CONCLUSIONS: Octreotide therapy reduced the frequency of recurrent gastrointestinal bleeding and may be considered for secondary prevention.
Tags: Bleeding, LVAD, LVAD Adverse Events