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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2005 Mar;24(3):237-45.

Physiology of continuous blood flow in recipients of rotary cardiac assist devices.

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Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, and LBI for Cardio-Surgical Research, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


The beating heart and the resultant pulse wave have been a symbol of life for centuries. The development history of roller pumps for cardiopulmonary bypass shows that the human body tolerates non-pulsatile blood flow, at least for short-term support. Over the last few years, many types of rotary blood pumps have been developed for clinical use in patients requiring mid- to long-term support. Although early clinical experiences in patients with long-term support have been promising, the matter of whether pulsatile flow is needed or not remains controversial. Therefore, this review summarizes the observed clinical consequences of continuous blood flow in patients supported by rotary blood pumps and relates these consequences to underlying experimental studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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