Chronic In Vivo Test of a Right Heart Replacement Blood Pump for Failed Fontan Circulation

Joshua Cysyk, Joseph Brian Clark, Ray Newswanger, Choon Sik Jhun, Jenelle Izer, Heidi Finicle, John Reibson, Bradley Doxtater, William Weiss, Gerson Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


An implantable rotary blood pump was developed to provide long-term mechanical right heart support for patients who have failing Fontan circulation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the pump in vivo in a 30 day sheep study. Pump speed was set at 3,900 rpm for the duration of the study, and pump power was between 4.3 and 4.6 W. The pump inlet pressures for the superior vena cava (SVC) and inferior vena cava (IVC) were 14 ± 15 and 11 ± 15 mm Hg, respectively, over the duration of the study. Hematocrit remained stable at 30% ± 4%. Partial thromboplastin time (PTT) steadily increased from 30 s preoperatively to a high of 59 s on postoperative day 20, while prothrombin time (PT) remained at 20 ± 2 s for the duration of the study. The implantation and postoperative recovery were successful, and the animal demonstrated normal physiologic pulmonary and venous pressures and cardiac output. On pump inspection, the IVC and SVC inlets were completely clear of any deposits, but there were small thrombi (approximately 0.5 mm diameter) between each of the three rotor blades and along 20% of the parting line of the two volute halves. A complete right heart bypass was performed, postoperative recovery was successful, and the pump demonstrated adequate circulatory support and normal physiologic pulmonary and venous pressures. This study was the first successful test of a right heart replacement device in a chronic animal study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-600
Number of pages8
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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