Peritoneal dialysis improves quality-of-life in an LVAD dest
Progressive renal insufficiency is frequent in heart failure patients with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD). The optimal strategy for long-term dialysis in LVAD patients and its effect on quality-of-life in these patients remain to be determined.

This 55-year-old patient with pre-existing renal insufficiency received an LVAD as destination therapy because of advanced ischemic heart failure. Six years after implantation, he developed end-stage renal disease for which peritoneal dialysis (PD) was initiated. LVAD flow alterations during ultrafiltration did not cause clinical or technical problems. The patient’s exercise capacity increased and quality-of-life improved. Over 7.5 years after LVAD implantation and 16 months after PD initiation, he died from encephalitis.

Despite initial improvement, renal function often gradually decreases after LVAD implantation. Data on long-term renal replacement therapy in LVAD patients are limited. Haemodialysis is most commonly applied. Conceptually, however, PD has advantages over haemodialysis including less blood stream infections, less haemodynamic shifts and the comfort of the ambulant setting.

This case illustrates that PD in an LVAD patient is feasible and improves quality-of-life. Key factors contributing to successful PD in LVAD patients may be a good right ventricular function and close cardiology-nephrology collaboration.