Thrombus Formation Patterns in the HeartMate II Ventricular Assist Device: Clinical Observations Can Be Predicted by Numerical Simulations

Chiu, Wei-Che BE*; Slepian, Marvin J. MD*†; Bluestein, Danny PhD*

doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000034
Brief Special Report

Postimplant device thrombosis remains a life-threatening complication and limitation of continuous-flow ventricular assist devices (VADs). Using advanced computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations, we successfully depicted various flow patterns, recirculation zones, and stagnant platelet trajectories which promote thrombus formation and observed that they matched actual thrombus formation patterns observed in Thoratec HeartMate II VADs explanted from patients with pump thrombosis. Previously, these small eddies could not be captured by either digital particle image velocimetry or CFD due to insufficient resolution. Our study successfully demonstrated the potential capability of advanced CFD to be adopted for device optimization, leading to enhanced safety and efficacy of VADs for long-term destination therapy.

From the *Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York; and Sarver Heart Center, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.

Submitted for consideration June 2013; accepted for publication in revised form November 2013.

Disclosure: The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

Supported by NIH NIBIB Quantum Award Implementation Phase II, 1U01EB012487-0 (DB).

Reprint Requests: Danny Bluestein, PhD, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University, Health Science Center Level 15, Room 090, Stony Brook, NY 11794–8151. Email:

Copyright © 2014 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs