Functional capacity remains limited in heart failure patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) due to fixed pump speed and inability to offload the left ventricle adequately. We hypothesized that manually adjusting LVAD speed during exercise based on pulmonary capillary wedge pressures would increase total cardiac output and maximal oxygen consumption. Two participants with a HeartWare LVAD underwent an invasive ramp study at rest followed by an invasive cardiopulmonary stress test exercising in two randomized phases: fixed speed and adjusted speed. In the latter phase, speed was adjusted every 1 minute during exercise at ±20 rpm/1 mm Hg change from baseline pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. There was no difference in maximal oxygen consumption between the two phases, with a modest increase in total cardiac output during speed adjustment. Filling pressures were initially controlled during speed adjustment until speed was capped at 4,000 rpm, at which point filling pressures increased. Blood pressure was variable. The pressure across the head of the pump (ΔP) was higher with speed adjustment. Contrary to our hypothesis, LVAD speed adjustment during exercise did not improve total cardiac output and functional capacity. This variable response may be attributed to the native cardiac reserve and baroreceptor response; however, additional studies are needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e82-e88
JournalASAIO journal (American Society for Artificial Internal Organs : 1992)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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