Early implementation of video capsule enteroscopy in patients with left ventricular assist devices and obscure gastrointestinal bleeding

Academic Article


  • Gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) is a frequent challenge encountered in patients implanted with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), affecting approximately 25% of this population. Many patients have no identifiable source of bleeding after routine esophagogastroduodenoscopy and colonoscopy and are labeled as obscure GIB (OGIB). Significant costs and invasive procedures are required to investigate and stop the source of bleeding in these patients. We performed a retrospective analysis at a single tertiary referral center to investigate the diagnostic yield and overall effectiveness of video capsule enteroscopy (VCE) in this population. Eight patients with LVADs underwent nine VCE studies for OGIB. The diagnostic yield was 100%, with intraluminal blood the most common finding. The jejunum was the most common location for pathology detected on VCE. Sixty-seven percent of the studies directly guided further endoscopy with successful cessation of bleeding in 100% of these patients. Finally, after an average follow-up of 46 weeks, the total number of endoscopic procedures and total units of transfused packed red blood cells (pRBC) were significantly less after the patient underwent the VCE study compared with before. Video capsule enteroscopy is a safe and high-yield investigative procedure in this population and should be implemented earlier to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs of care.
  • Published In

  • ASAIO Journal  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Truss WD; Weber F; Pamboukian SV; Tripathi A; Peter S
  • Start Page

  • 40
  • End Page

  • 45
  • Volume

  • 62
  • Issue

  • 1