DOI: 10.1161/circ.148.suppl_1.13671 ISSN: 0009-7322

Abstract 13671: A Case of Diffuse Alveolar Hemorrhage While on Systemic Anticoagulation for Impella

Radhika Ghosalkar, Satoshi Miyashita, Masashi Kawabori, Amanda R Vest
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

A 57 year old male with PMH of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (EF 30%), atrial fibrillation, and VT s/p ICD was admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit for cardiogenic shock. His condition deteriorated necessitating Impella 5.5 implantation as bridge to cardiac transplant. Systemic heparin was started per Impella protocol with a lower anti-Xa goal of 0.2 - 0.3 given post-op bleeding at the R axillary Impella site. Five days post Impella placement he developed bloody secretions from the endotracheal tube requiring multiple blood transfusions and discontinuation of systemic heparin, while maintaining heparin purge. Labs were notable for anti-Xa 0.22, hemoglobin 9.7, and platelets 221. CT Chest demonstrated parenchymal opacities concerning for diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) which was confirmed via bronchoalveolar lavage; he had no known history of lung disease. High-dose corticosteroids were administered as a high ANA titer (1:128) and low C3 suggested capillaritis. However, decreasing ANA (1: 320) and a negative autoimmune workup decreased the likelihood of a rheumatologic cause for DAH and steroids were discontinued. DAH secondary to acquired von Willebrand syndrome (aVWS) was considered, but factor VIII and vWF activity levels were normal. The bloody secretions improved with inhaled thromboxane and systemic heparin was restarted. Orthotopic heart and kidney transplant was performed with subsequent Impella removal 104 days after Impella placement.

Discussion: We present the first documented case of DAH with isolated Impella 5.5 support. Previously reported cases of DAH post-Impella were observed in patients with concurrent ECMO or RVAD. As autoimmune and coagulopathic causes of DAH were excluded, bland DAH secondary to systemic anticoagulation is most likely in this case. This raises a question about how to balance the risk of bleeding with the risk of device thrombosis, stroke and embolic events and when to switch from heparin to sodium bicarbonate purge.

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