To drive an artificial heart system optimially, information from the autonomic nervous system may be needed; however, it is very difficult to monitor autonomic nerve discharges continuously. In this study, we propose a new automatic control algorithm for a total artificial heart (TAH) using fluctuations in the circulatory system. It was reported that fluctuations in hemodynamics reflect ongoing information from the autonomic nervous system. A Mayer wave at 0.1 Hz was reported to reflect sympathetic information. We observed fluctuations in vascular resistance, which can be measured during use of an artificial heart. Four adult goats were used for the experiments. Through a left thoracotomy, hemodynamic parameters were measured during chronic animal experiments. All time series data were recorded on magnetic tape. Quantitative analysis, statistics, and spectral analysis were carried out on a computer through an analog-digital (AD) converter. A Mayer wave peak was clearly recognized in all goats in the spectrum of vascular resistance. A band pass filter was used to convert this information to automatic control. Time series curves of the Mayer wave of vascular resistance were provided, and compared with the time series curve of the cardiac output. After a change in the Mayer wave, increase in cardiac output was observed. This phenomenon may be interpreted as sympathetic nervous control of changes in cardiac output. These results suggest that an artificial heart may be controlled by the measurement of the Mayer wave of vascular resistance, making it possible to control an artificial heart with neural information.
Copyright © 1998 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs