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Performance Prediction of a Percutaneous Ventricular Assist System Using Nonlinear Circuit Analysis Techniques

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4 Author(s)

A percutaneous ventricular assist device (pVAD) is an extracorporeal cardiac assist system that supports the failing ventricle in advanced stage heart failure by bypassing blood from the venous to the arterial circulation through a blood pump. The system can be implanted in a Cath lab using standard interventional techniques, and typically consists of a venous or atrial drainage cannula, the VAD (or blood pump), and an arterial perfusion cannula. Because the device allows clinicians the freedom of choosing the configuration and size of the cannulae based on the patient's body size and the size of the artery, it is extremely difficult but important to be able to predict the amount of blood flow that the device can provide before it is implanted to support the patient. In this paper, we develop a novel method that can be used to accurately predict the mean flow rate that the device can provide to the patient based on the size and configuration of the arterial cannula, the pump speed, and the patient's left atrial and mean arterial pressures. To do this, we first develop a nonlinear electric circuit model for the pVAD. This model includes a speed dependent voltage source and flow dependent resistors to simulate the pressure-flow relationship in the various cannulae in the device. We show that the flow rate through the device can be determined by solving a quadratic equation whose coefficients are scaled depending on the size and configuration of the arterial cannula. The model and prediction method were tested experimentally on a test loop supported by the TandemHeart pVAD (Cardiacassist, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA). A comparison of the predicted flow rates obtained from our method with experimental data shows that our method can predict the flow rates accurately with error indices less than 6% for all test conditions over the entire range of intended use of the device. Computer simulations of the pVAD model coupled to a cardiovascular model showed that the accuracy of the- - method in estimating the mean flow rate is consistent over the normal range of operation of the device regardless of the pulsatility introduced by the cardiovascular system. This method can be used as an additional too to assist cardiologists in choosing a proper arterial cannulae configurations and sizes for pVAD patients. It can also be used as a tool to train clinical personnel to operate the device under different physiological conditions.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 2 )