Background: The clinical application of rotary blood pumps (RBPs) for bridge-to-recovery and destination therapy has focused interest on the remaining contractile function of the heart and its course. This study reports a method to determine contractility that uses readily measured variables of the RBP.
Method: The proposed index (I(Q)) is defined as the slope of a linear regression between the maximum derivative of the pump flow and its peak-to-peak value. I(Q) was compared with the maximal derivative of ventricular pressure (dP/dt(max)) vs end-diastolic volume (EDV) and the pre-load-recruitable stroke work. All indices were evaluated using computer simulations and animal experiments. For in vivo studies, a MicroMed-DeBakey ventricular assist device (VAD) was implanted in 7 healthy sheep. Ventricular contractility was examined under normal conditions and after pharmacologic intervention. For the computer simulation, variations of ventricular contractility, ventricular pre-load and after-load, and pump speeds were studied.
Results: In vivo and computer simulations showed the I(Q) index to be sensitive to changes of cardiac contractility, similar to other classic indices. For reduced cardiac contractility, it decreased to 9.3 +/- 3.9 (s(-1)) vs 15.3 +/- 4.0 (s(-1)) in the control condition (in vivo experiments). The I(Q) index was only marginally influenced by pre-load and after-load changes: a variation of 7.0% +/- 8.9% and 1.3% +/- 7.1%, respectively, was observed in computer simulations.
Conclusions: The I(Q) index, which can be derived from pump data only, is a useful parameter for continuous monitoring of the cardiac contractility in patients with RBP support.
Copyright (c) 2010 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.