Postoperative Cardiac Support with a Pulsatile Assist Pump: Techniques and Results

William S. Pierce, Gerson Rosenberg, James H. Donachy, Donald L. Landis, William Weiss, Frederick Hensley, David Larach

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11 Scopus citations


Abstract: Since 1980 this group has employed a pulsatile assist pump(s) in 23 patients. Postoperative survival was 39% (9/23). In this group, 16 patients have required left ventricular support; 9 have been weaned from the pump, and 7 have survived (44%). Three patients required right ventricular support, and two have survived (66%). Four patients required biventricular assistance, but none survived. There have been four late deaths in this group. Of the five patients alive and well, all are New York Heart Association Class I or II. Important conclusions include the following: (a) The pulsatile pump can adequately support the pulmonary or systemic circulation for a period of days; (b) dramatic improvement in ventricular function is frequently observed in patients with univentricular failure; (c) adequate right ventricular function is a major determinant of survival in a patient with pulsatile left ventricular support; (d) preoperative cardiogenic shock and/or a prolonged time on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) predispose the patient to diffuse intravascular coagulation and a poor result; (e) considerable information remains to be learned regarding the selection of assist pump candidates, optimal CPB techniques, and intraop‐erative identification of biventricular failure, which will further improve these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-251
Number of pages5
JournalArtificial organs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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