Direct cardiac compression devices

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2002 Oct;21(10):1049-55. doi: 10.1016/s1053-2498(02)00482-5.


Ventricular assist devices employed clinically to assist the failing heart require direct contact between the device and the patient's blood. Thromboembolic events, the need for anticoagulation, hemolysis, immune reactions and infections contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality of these devices. Compressing the weakened heart from its epicardial surface, direct cardiac compression (DCC), could provide ventricular support and avoid the interactions between blood and a foreign surface. This article reviews the physiology of epicardial compression and the current progress of mechanical compression devices.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / instrumentation
  • Equipment Design
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Humans
  • Ventricular Function / physiology*