Ann Thorac Surg 1996;61:1199-1204
© 1996 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Divisions of Cardiac Surgery and Anesthesia, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Ottawa Civic Hospital, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Accepted for publication December 15, 1995.
Background. Right ventricular blood flow may be adversely affected during left ventricular assist device (LVAD) use leading to right ventricular (RV) ischemia and RV dysfunction. This study characterized normal RV blood flow responses to LVAD operation.
Methods. Seven Yorkshire pigs weighing 74.4 ± 3.4 kg underwent right coronary artery blood flow measurements with an ultrasonic flow probe and injection of radiolabeled microspheres. A Thoratec LVAD was used in either synchronous or asynchronous modes and RV loading was increased using a pulmonary artery snare.
Results. The RV blood flow was compared between three regions that differed in proximity to the right coronary artery: proximal segment, mid-RV, and distal. The right ventricular distal flow was 0.93 ± 0.07 mL min-1 g-1 compared with 0.74 ± 0.06 mL min-1 g-1 at right ventricular proximal flow during control measurements (p = 0.0001). This difference was maintained during LVAD operation in either synchronous or asynchronous modes and also during pulmonary artery constriction.
Conclusions. Global RV flow is not adversely affected by LVAD use. A flow gradient occurs along the right coronary artery with the distal vascular bed having relatively less reserve, which may be more susceptible to ischemia in patients with preexisting coronary disease or RV distention during LVAD use.
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[Abstract] [Full Text]
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