In-vitro Evaluation of Ventricular Cannulation for Rotodynamic Cardiac Assist Devices

Cardiovasc Eng Technol. 2011 Sep;2(3):203-211. doi: 10.1007/s13239-011-0050-x.


The influence of positioning and geometry of ventricular cannulas for contemporary continuous flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) was evaluated in a non-beating isolated heart preparation with borescopic visualization. Preload and LVAD flow were varied to evaluate degrees of ventricular decompression up to the point of ventricular collapse. The performance of a flanged cannula was compared to a conventional bevel-tipped cannula: quantitatively by the maximal flow attainable, and qualitatively by visualization of fluid tracer particles within the ventricular chamber. Three forms of ventricular suck-down occurred: concentric collapse, gradual entrainment and instantaneous entrainment. In some circumstances, unstable oscillations of the ventricle were observed prior to complete collapse. Under conditions of low preload, the flanged cannula demonstrated less positional sensitivity, provided greater flow, and exhibited fewer areas of stagnation than the beveled cannula. These observations warrant further consideration of a flanged ventricular cannula to mitigate complications encountered with conventional cannulae.