It has been suggested that pulsatile blood flow is superior to continuous flow (CF) in cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). However, adoption of pulsatile flow (PF) technology has been limited because of practicality and complexity of creating a consistent physiologic pulse. A pediatric pulsatile rotary ventricular pump (PRVP) was designed to address this problem. We evaluated the PRVP in an animal model and determined its ability to generate PF during CPB. The PRVP (modified peristaltic pump, with tapering of the outlet of the pump chamber) was tested in four piglets (10–12 kg). Cannulation was performed with right atrial and aortic cannulae, and pressure sensors were inserted into the femoral arteries. Pressure curves were obtained at different levels of flow and compared with both the animal’s baseline physiologic function and a CF roller pump. Pressure and flow waveforms demonstrated significant pulsatility in the PRVP setup compared with CF at all tested conditions. Measurement of hemodynamic energy data, including the percentage pulsatile energy and the surplus hydraulic energy, also revealed a significant increase in pulsatility with the PRVP (p < 0.001). The PRVP creates physiologically significant PF, similar to the pulsatility of a native heart, and has the potential to be easily implemented in pediatric CPB.
From the *Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; †MC3 Inc., Ann Arbor, Michigan; and ‡Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Submitted for consideration July 2013; accepted for publication in revised form January 2014.
Disclosure: The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.
The described research was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health: NIH SBIR 1 R43 HL085986-01A1 and NIH SBIR 2 R44 HL085986-02 and was the sole funding source of purchased property and tested technology. The authors had full control of the design of the study, methods used, outcome parameters and results, analysis of data, and production of the written report.
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