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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 2006 June;47(3):329-35

language: English

Intrathoracic implantation of a continuous flow left ventricular assist device – the microdiagonal blood pump

Christiansen S. 1, Redmann K. 2, Autschbach R. 1

1 Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery University of Aachen, Aachen, Germany
2 Department of Experimental Cardiothoracic Surgery University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany


Aim. All existing ventricular assist devices are associated with a considerable number of serious complications. We report on our first animal tests with a newly developed microdiagonal blood pump (MDP).
Methods. Six female calves underwent MDP implantation. The inflow and outflow conduit were anastomosed to the left atrium and the descending aorta. The MDP was placed in the left phrenicocostal sinus. Pump flow was adjusted to 2-3 L/min. Hemodynamic and echocardiographic data as well as blood samples were measured over the test period of 7 days. Thereafter, all internal organs and the pump were explanted for thorough examination.
Results. Mean arterial (90.5±12.1—102.7±8.7 mmHg) and mean pulmonary arterial (17.3±2.4—20.6±2.7 mmHg) pressures remained stable during the test period. Cardiac output (5.4±0.5 ≥3.5±0.5 L/min) decreased postoperatively due to partial unloading of the heart. Left ventricular end-diastolic (4.4±0.5≥3.8±0.4 cm) and endsystolic (3.4±0.5 ≥2.9±0.4 cm) diameters decreased after MDP implantation and did not change during the test period. Mean number of platelets (550±57 ≥350±86x 103/mL) and hemoglobin (13.2±1.3 ≥11.9±0.8 g/dL) decreased perioperatively due to surgical reasons and recovered in the postoperative course. Free hemoglobin was slightly enhanced in the postoperative course.
Conclusion. Our results demonstrate that the MDP is suitable for intrathoracic implantation and provides a reliable left ventricular unloading.

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