Closed circuit MR compatible pulsatile pump system using a ventricular assist device and pressure control unit

R. Lorenz*, C. Benk, J. Bock, A. F. Stalder, J. G. Korvink, J. Hennig, M. Markl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of a closed circuit MR compatible pneumatically driven pump system using a ventricular assist device as pulsatile flow pump for in vitro 3D flow simulation. Additionally, a pressure control unit was integrated into the flow circuit. The performance of the pump system and its test-retest reliability was evaluated using a stenosis phantom (60% lumen narrowing). Bland-Altman analysis revealed a good test-retest reliability (mean differences = -0.016 m/s, limits of agreement = ±0.047 m/s) for in vitro flow measurements. Furthermore, a rapid prototyping in vitro model of a normal thoracic aorta was integrated into the flow circuit for a direct comparison of flow characteristics with in vivo data in the same subject. The pneumatically driven ventricular assist device was attached to the ascending aorta of the in vitro model to simulate the beating left ventricle. In the descending part of the healthy aorta a flexible stenosis was integrated to model an aortic coarctation. In vivo and in vitro comparison showed significant (P = 0.002) correlations (r = 0.9) of mean velocities. The simulation of increasing coarctation grade led to expected changes in the flow patterns such as jet flow in the post-stenotic region and increased velocities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-268
Number of pages11
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • VAD pump system
  • aorta
  • in vitro vessel model
  • phase-contrast MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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