Noninvasive Arterial Blood Pressure Waveforms in Patients with Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices

Martina, Jerson R.*; Westerhof, Berend E.†‡; de Jonge, Nicolaas§; van Goudoever, Jeroen; Westers, Paul; Chamuleau, Steven§; van Dijk, Diederik; Rodermans, Ben F. M.#; de Mol, Bas A. J. M.**; Lahpor, Jaap R.*

ASAIO Journal:
doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000033
Adult Circulatory Support

Arterial blood pressure and echocardiography may provide useful physiological information regarding cardiac support in patients with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (cf-LVADs). We investigated the accuracy and characteristics of noninvasive blood pressure during cf-LVAD support. Noninvasive arterial pressure waveforms were recorded with Nexfin (BMEYE, Amsterdam, The Netherlands). First, these measurements were validated simultaneously with invasive arterial pressures in 29 intensive care unit patients. Next, the association between blood pressure responses and measures derived by echocardiography, including left ventricular end-diastolic dimensions (LVEDDs), left ventricular end-systolic dimensions (LVESDs), and left ventricular shortening fraction (LVSF) were determined during pump speed change procedures in 30 outpatients. Noninvasive arterial blood pressure waveforms by the Nexfin monitor slightly underestimated invasive measures during cf-LVAD support. Differences between noninvasive and invasive measures (mean ± SD) of systolic, diastolic, mean, and pulse pressures were −7.6 ± 5.8, −7.0 ± 5.2, −6.9 ± 5.1, and −0.6 ± 4.5 mm Hg, respectively (all <10%). These blood pressure responses did not correlate with LVEDD, LVESD, or LVSF, while LVSF correlated weakly with both pulse pressure (r = 0.24; p = 0.005) and (dPart/dt)max (r = 0.25; p = 0.004). The dicrotic notch in the pressure waveform was a better predictor of aortic valve opening (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.87) than pulse pressure (AUC = 0.64) and (dPart/dt)max (AUC = 0.61). Patients with partial support rather than full support at 9,000 rpm had a significant change in systolic pressure, pulse pressure, and (dPart/dt)max during ramp studies, while echocardiographic measures did not change. Blood pressure measurements by Nexfin were reliable and may thereby act as a compliment to the assessment of the cf-LVAD patient.

Author Information

From the *Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Laboratory for Clinical Cardiovascular Physiology, AMC Center for Heart Failure Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; BMEYE BV, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; §Department of Cardiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Julius Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands; Department of Intensive Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands; #Department of Medical Technology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands; **Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Submitted for consideration May 2013; accepted for publication in revised form October 2013.

Disclosure: Jeroen van Goudoever and Berend E. Westerhof are employees of the BMEYE company and own shares in the BMEYE company. Jerson R. Martina, Nicolaas de Jonge, Paul Westers, Steven Chamuleau, Diederik van Dijk, Ben F. M. Rodermans, Bas A. J. M. de Mol, and Jaap R. Lahpor have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Reprint Requests: Jerson R. Martina, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100 3584 CX, Utrecht, The Netherlands. Email:

Copyright © 2014 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs