Understanding the C-Pulse device and its potential to treat heart failure

Virna L. Sales, Patrick M McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The Sunshine Heart C-Pulse (C-Pulse; Sunshine Heart Inc., Tustin, CA) device is an extra-aortic implantable counterpulsation pump designed as a non-blood contacting ambulatory heart assist device, which may provide relief from symptoms for class II-III congestive heart failure patients. It has a comparable hemodynamic augmentation to intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation devices. The C-Pulse cuff is implanted through a median sternotomy, secured around the ascending aorta, and pneumatically driven by an external system controller. Pre-clinical studies in the acute pig model, and initial temporary clinical studies in patients undergoing off-pump coronary bypass surgery have shown substantial increase in diastolic perfusion of the coronary vessels, which translated to a favorable improvement in ventricular function. A U.S. prospective multi-center trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the C-Pulse in class III patients with moderate heart failure is now in progress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Heart Failure Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


  • Assist devices
  • Counterpulsation pump
  • Heart failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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