Trans-hepatic cannulation: A novel approach for placement of a pediatric percutaneous ventricular assist device

Jeffrey G. Gossett*, David H.J. Wang, Douglas E. Smith, Eric J. Devaney, Thomas R. Lloyd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) use is increasing. The TandemHeart PTVA system is a percutaneous VAD used in adults. Pediatric use is limited by cannula size. Trans-hepatic left atrial (LA) cannulation offers the possibility of shorter, larger-diameter cannulae, but specific requirements for cannula size and flow characteristics need to be developed. We evaluated the feasibility of trans-hepatic cannulation based on patient measurements and bench-top modeling. Two hundred patients admitted to the University of Michigan Pediatric CICU were evaluated. Patients over 14 years and dextrocardiac patients were excluded. The distance from the skin between the 10th and 11th ribs at the mid-axillary line to the left-heart border was measured on x-ray. LA size was measured on echocardiogram. From these measurements, prototype cannulae were fabricated. Benchtop testing of developed cannulae was performed with a pump speed of 8500 RPM and fluid viscosity of 4.0 cP at physiologic atrial and arterial pressures. Inlet pressure and deliverable flows were measured. The proposed design delivered sufficient flow with negative pressures low enough to avoid hemolysis. Trans-hepatic LA cannulation for percutaneous VAD placement is feasible. The shorter distance to the LA and larger hepatic vein size allows design of pediatric-appropriate cannulae with adequate flow rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-521
Number of pages5
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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