Anita Phancao

and 7 more

Background: With the limited number of available suitable donor hearts resulting in plateaued numbers of heart transplantations, short- and long-term mechanical circulatory support devices, including the implantation of total artificial hearts (TAH) are modalities that are increasingly being used as treatment options for patients with end-stage heart failure. The superior vena cava syndrome has been described in this context in various disease processes. We report successful venoplasty for superior vena cava syndrome in a patient with a TAH. Case Presentation: A 65 years old man with a history of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy had received a left ventricular assist device, and then two years later underwent orthotopic heart transplantation using the bicaval anastomosis technique. The post procedural course was complicated by primary graft failure, resulting in the need for the implantation of a TAH. About 5 months after the TAH implantation he started to develop complications such as volume retention, swelling of the upper extremities, and was diagnosed to have a superior vena cava syndrome. The patient underwent a successful venoplasty of his superior vena cava by interventional radiology with resolution of upper body edema, normalization of renal and liver function. Conclusion: Potential fatal complications caused by catheter or wire entrapment in the right sided mechanical valve of a TAH have been reported. We describe a safe method for the treatment of superior vena cava syndrome in patients with TAH.