Objective: Left ventricular assist device support produces a bleeding diathesis. Evidence suggests a major role for von Willebrand factor (vWF). We examined vWF metabolism in a preclinical model of short-term mechanical circulatory support. Methods: In 25 calves (weight, 80-110 kg), the inflow/outflow graft of the Symphony Heart Assist System was sewn end-to-side to the carotid artery. Support was initiated (acute, n = 4; 1 week, n = 16; 2 weeks, n = 5). Acutely, carotid artery pressure and flow were measured to evaluate the hemodynamic changes near the anastomosis. At baseline and after ≤2 weeks of support, platelet aggregometry with adenosine 5′-diphosphate, collagen, and ristocetin was performed. Gel electrophoresis and wet immunoblotting qualitatively evaluated vWF multimers and quantified plasma ADAMTS-13, the vWF-cleaving protease. Carotid arterial rings near the anastomosis were studied with immunohistochemical staining for ADAMTS-13 and were cultured to quantify endothelial ADAMTS-13 production. Fluorescent resonance energy transfer was used to evaluate the enzymatic activity of ADAMTS-13 in the plasma and in supernatant from cultured carotid arterial rings. Plasma interleukin-6, which inhibits ADAMTS-13 activity, was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: During support, statistically significant (P <.05) changes in the carotid endothelium arterial hemodynamics were observed. The highest molecular weight vWF multimers were absent, and the vWF-ristocetin platelet aggregation pathway was significantly impaired. A modest but significant increase in plasma ADAMTS-13 protein and activity was observed. ADAMTS-13 decreased significantly in the carotid near the anastomosis but increased significantly in supernatant from cultured carotid arterial rings. The plasma interleukin-6 levels did not change significantly. Conclusions: Hemodynamic activation of vWF and increased plasma ADAMTS-13 activity may have reduced high-molecular-weight vWF multimers and thereby impaired the vWF-platelet aggregation pathway. Additional delineation of these pathways may improve management of left ventricular assist device-Associated bleeding.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine