The authors have been developing a magnetically suspended centrifugal pump (MSCP). They have devised a pulsatile mode for the MSCP, which was generated by altering rotational speed. This article describes in vitro and in vivo studies with the pulsatile mode of the MSCP. Hemolysis tests were performed in two identical circuits to compare the nonpulsatile (NP) mode and the pulsatile (P) mode. In vivo studies were performed in sheep. First, biventricular assisted circulation was instituted in the left heart with the MSCP and in the right heart with the Biopump. The native heart was induced to ventricular fibrillation. Second, a left ventricular assisted circulation was instituted as the native heart was beating. An inflow cannula was inserted into the left atrium in one sheep and into the left ventricle in the other. The normalized indices of hemolysis of the NP and P groups were 0.0025 ± 0.0018 g/100 L, and 0.0032 ± 0.0024 g/100 L (N = 4, not significant). During ventricular fibrillation in the P mode, the pulse pressure was 14 mmHg (the rotational speed: 1,500 to 2,600 rpm). In a beating heart, at atrial withdrawal, the pulse pressure increased from 10 to 24 mmHg (2,100 ± 500 rpm), while at ventricular withdrawal, it decreased from 17 to 40 mmHg (2,000 ± 500 rpm) on P mode. The MSCP in pulsatile mode did not increase hemolysis. At ventricular withdrawal, it was easier to produce a pulsation than at atrial withdrawal. The pulsatile mode of the MSCP is applicable to a left ventricular assist system. ASAIO Journal 1997; 43:M580-M584.
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