Replacement of the Left-Side Valves of an Implanted Total Artificial Heart

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
ASAIO Journal (Impact Factor: 1.52). 07/2006; 52(4):368-72. DOI: 10.1097/01.mat.0000227731.46835.1e
Source: PubMed


The MagScrew total artificial heart (TAH) is under development. Despite its anticipated durability and reliability, the possibility of a bioprosthetic valve malfunction exists. As a result, the potential for valve replacement surgery, instead of device replacement, would be desirable after a TAH implant. In two of our 90-day animal experiments, we successfully replaced the left-side valves through a left thoracotomy opposite to the right-sided incision site for the initial TAH implant. The results of these cases suggest that the left-side valves could also be replaced through a left thoracotomy approach in humans. To confirm the ability to access the left-side valves in humans, four human cadaver studies were performed with the use of a mock pump designed for human application. This report describes the operative techniques for left-side valve replacement in animals and discusses the advantages of a left thoracotomy in clinical situations, based on results from the human cadaver studies.

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    ABSTRACT: Incompetent inflow valves have been reported with clinical pulsatile left ventricular assist devices that use bioprosthetic valves. Suspected as the cause of premature valve failure within these devices, absolute pressures and instantaneous pressure changes were evaluated in the MagScrew total artificial heart (TAH). The MagScrew TAH is a passively filling pulsatile pump which uses a reciprocating magnetic actuating mechanism under various control modes to propel blood into circulation. Both right and left ejection speeds were modulated and optimized at the onset of hydraulic eject. These various speed profiles were evaluated in vitro at 220 beats per minute (bpm), 100% pump fill, mean aortic pressure of 100 mm Hg and mean pulmonary artery pressure of 20 mm Hg. The pressure inside the left and right pump chambers was measured with Millar Mikro-Tip catheter and captured using Power Lab at a rate of 40 kHz. The pump chamber peak pressure, operating with unmodified eject speeds, measured on average 183 mm Hg for the left and 133 mm Hg for the right. Eject speed profiling for both pumps reduced the peak pressure by 10% and 28% for the left and right pump, respectively. Future studies will assess software controlled optimization of the eject speed profiles under any operating condition and how effective it is in vivo.
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    ABSTRACT: We are developing a very small, innovative, continuous-flow total artificial heart (CFTAH) that passively self-balances left and right pump flows and atrial pressures without sensors. This report details the CFTAH design concept and our initial in vitro data. System performance of the CFTAH was evaluated using a mock circulatory loop to determine the range of systemic and pulmonary vascular resistance (SVR and PVR) levels over which the design goal of a maximum absolute atrial pressure difference of 10 mm Hg is achieved for a steady-state flow condition. Pump speed was then modulated at 2,600 +/- 900 rpm to induce flow and arterial pressure pulsation to evaluate the effects of speed pulsations on the system performance. An automatic control mode was also evaluated. Using only passive self-regulation, pump flows were balanced and absolute atrial pressure differences were maintained at <10 mm Hg over a range of SVR (750 to 2,750 and PVR (135 to 600 values far exceeding normal levels. The magnitude of induced speed pulsatility affected relative left/right performance, allowing for an additional active control to improve balanced flow and pressure. The automatic control mode adjusted pump speed to achieve targeted pump flows based on sensorless calculations of SVR and CFTAH flow. The initial in vitro testing of the CFTAH with a single, valveless, continuous-flow pump demonstrated its passive self-regulation of flows and atrial pressures and a new automatic control mode.
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