Development and early testing of a simple subcutaneous counterpulsation device

Steven C. Koenig, Paul A. Spence, George M. Pantalos, Robert Dowling, Kenneth N. Litwak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


The intra-aortic balloon pump has been widely and successfully used as a treatment for cardiac dysfunction, but it only has short-term applications. To overcome this limitation, a superficial counterpulsation device (CPD) is being developed to provide extended counterpulsation support to promote myocardial recovery. The CPD is a valveless, monoport, pneumatically driven, 40-ml sac that is intended to be implanted in a pacemaker-type pocket in the subclavian fossa. The sac is designed to fill in systole and empty during diastole through an outflow graft anastomosed to the subclavian artery. A feasibility study was conducted to investigate acute hemodynamic responses to the CPD in eight calves with diminished cardiac function. The CPD augmented aortic diastolic pressure, reduced left ventricular peak systolic and aortic ejection pressures by up to 18%, and increased diastolic coronary flow by up to 21% and stroke volume by up to 12%. A cadaver fit study demonstrated that the human subclavian artery is a reasonable anastomosis site to consider and that the 40-ml CPD needs to be reduced in size to provide a better anatomical fit. The clinical attractiveness of this approach is that it may provide extended support through a subcutaneous surgical procedure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-367
Number of pages6
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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