Clinical outcomes of ventricular assist device (VAD) support for shunted single ventricle patients trail the larger population due in part to the challenges in optimizing VAD support and balancing systemic and pulmonary circulations. We sought to understand the response to VAD titration in the shunted circulation using a lumped-parameter network modeling six patient-specific clinical cases. Hemodynamic data from six patients (mean body surface area = 0.30 m2) with a systemic-to-pulmonary shunt was used to construct simulated cases of heart failure and hemodynamic response to increasing VAD flow from 5 to 10 L/min/m2. With increasing VAD flow, the pulmonary arterial pressure stayed relatively constant in five patient cases and increased in one patient case. The mean VAD flow needed to attain an arterial-venous O2 saturation difference of 30% was 6.5 ± 1.2 L/min/m2, which is higher than that in the equivalent nonshunted scenario due to the partial diversion of flow to the pulmonary circulation. The hemodynamic responses to VAD support can vary significantly between specific patient cases; therefore hemodynamic modeling may help guide an individualized approach to perioperative VAD management in the shunted single-ventricle circulation and to understand the patients who may benefit the most from VAD support.
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