We have developed various axial flow blood pumps to realize the concept of the Valvo pump, and we have studied hemodynamic changes under cardiac assistance using an axial flow blood pump in series with the natural heart. In this study, we measured hemodynamic changes of not only systemic circulation but also cerebral circulation and coronary circulation under cardiac support using our latest axial flow blood pump placed in the descending aorta in an acute animal experiment. The axial flow blood pump was installed at the thoracic descending aorta through a left thoracotomy of a goat (43.8 kg, female). When the pump was on, the aortic pressure and aortic flow downstream of the pump increased with preservation of pulsatilities. The pressure drop upstream of the pump caused reduction of afterload pressure, and it may lead to reduction of left ventricular wall stress. However, cerebral blood flow and coronary blood flow were decreased when the pump was on. The axial flow blood pump enables more effective blood perfusion into systemic circulation, but it has the potential risk of blood perfusion disturbance into cerebral circulation and coronary circulation. The results indicate that the position before the coronary ostia might be suitable for implantation of the axial flow blood pump in series with the natural heart to avoid blood perfusion disturbances.
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