More than 80 acute and chronic calf in vivo studies were utilized to develop a 3 L/min axial flow blood pump designed for intraarterial ventricular assist. The 7 mm diameter transvalvular inlet cannula of the cable driven pump receives blood from the left ventricle. The pump then discharges blood into the descending aorta. In the calf, the pump was introduced into the renal aorta. Safety and effectiveness of the device were demonstrated in three control and 21 implanted animals. Blood chemistry results showed an average plasma free hemoglobin of 3 mg/dl for control and 6.7 mg/dl for implanted animals. Platelets were 1.04 × 106 and 0.65 × 106, respectively, for control and implanted animals. Fibrinogen, BUN, creatinine, and bilirubin were essentially the same for both groups of animals. The hardware was typically free of deposits, and histopathologic examination revealed minimal injury to intracardiac structures, aortic valve leaflets, and aortic intima. The data indicates that the device may provide full support for a failing left ventricle with minimal trauma or risk.
©1988 American Society of Artificial Internal Organs