Abstract: The two most serious complications associated with long‐term use of a total artificial heart (TAH) are thromboembolism and infection. In this article, we review our experience in one patient implanted with a pneumatic TAH for 396 days, and in 24 calves implanted with the same type of device for 70 to 353 (median 150) days. During his survival with the TAH, our patient suffered several thromboembolic episodes despite adequate anti‐coagulation with warfarin. Autopsy showed widespread thrombotic lesions, mostly in the brain. Throughout his survival, the patient had markedly elevated plasma β‐thromboglobulin and fibrinopeptide A levels, indicating sustained activation of platelets and the coagulation system secondary to blood contact with the artificial surface. Long‐term use of TAH in calves causes significant mechanical hemolytic anemia and a small reduction in the total leukocyte and neutrophil counts. The platelet count normalized to preirnplantation levels by 25 to 35 weeks. At autopsy, thrombotic lesions and organ infarction were noted in 13 calves, and major septic complications were documented in 10 animals. Although impressive gains in the clinical and experimental use of TAH were achieved during the last 15 years, thromboembolism and infection remain challenging problems.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Feb 1992|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Biomedical Engineering