In vitro function of the Cleveland Clinic-Nimbus electrohydraulic total artificial heart met National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute hemodynamic guidelines for such devices. In a series of in vivo experiments, we implanted the total artificial heart in eight calves (mean weight 87 kg), one for a short-term experiment and seven for long-term experiments. The mean blood flow during support was 7.7 + 1.6 L/min with left atrial pressure 13 ± 6 mm Hg, right atrial pressure 13 ± 4 mm Hg, and aortic pressure 97 ± 9 mm hg. Maximum pump flow (9.6 L/min) occurred after 4 days of support as a result of the high resting cardiac output of the animals. A 10 % to 15 % right pump stroke-volume limit effectively balanced atrial pressures, and afterload insensitivity was confirmed by the in vivo studies. Calves tolerated treadmill exercise studies well, with an average duration of 22 minutes and an average top speed of 2.1 mph. The experiments were terminated after 1 day to 120 days of support (mean 32 days). Most experiments were terminated as a result of correctable mechanical problems. In a separate study of six adult human patients undergoing orthotopic cardiac transplantation, five showed an excellent fit for the Cleveland Clinic-Nimbus total artificial heart. Further studies using chest roentgenograms, chest measurements, and transesophageal echocardiography should help predict fit of the total artificial heart in potential candidates. Initial candidates for a “vented-electric” version of the Cleveland Clinic-Nimbus total artificial heart are patients for whom univentricular (left ventricular assist device) support is not appropriate, but who require mechanical support as a bridge to cardiac transplantation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine