Circulatory assist devices are used to treat patients awaiting cardiac transplantation to preserve life as well as to permit recovery of end-organ function. The efficacy of pulseless perfusion versus pulsatile perfusion in the recovery of endorgan function has not been fully determined. In this study, the efficacy of pulseless perfusion compared to pulsatile perfusion on the recovery of renal function after a 30 min period of normothermic ischemia was examined. Pigs were randomly assigned to four groups. In all groups, acute renal ischemia was induced by clamping both renal arteries for 30 min. Reperfusion for 120 min was performed using either pulsatile perfusion or pulseless perfusion at 65 ± 1.6 mm Hg (Groups I [pulsatile] and II [pulseless]) and at 40 ± 1.1 mm Hg (Groups III [pulsatile] and IV [pulseless]). After reperfusion, renal blood flow, hemodynamic power (pressure flow: hemodynamic power), oxygen consumption (VO2), tissue ATP, and urine output (UO) in Groups I, II, and III were significantly higher than in Group IV (p < .01 by ANOVA). Histopathologic examinations were not significantly different between groups. Under hypotensive conditions, pulsatile perfusion improves hemodynamic power delivery to the organ compared to pulseless perfusion. These results suggest that a pulseless pump is acceptable as an assist device when normal flow or perfusion pressure is maintained.
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