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J Artif Organs. 2005;8(3):143-8.

Chronic nonpulsatile blood flow is compatible with normal end-organ function: implications for LVAD development.

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Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Tokyo Women's Medical University, 8-1 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, 162-8666, Japan.


Evolving blood pump technology has produced user-friendly continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices, but uncertainty exists about the safety of chronic nonpulsatile circulation. Recent experimental and clinical evidence suggest that pulse pressure is not required from a blood pump. End-organ function is well maintained with nonpulsatile systems, although pulse pressure may accelerate recovery from cardiogenic shock. Form follows function, so the effects of reduced pulse pressure on the arterial wall are not surprising. The ability to alter aortic wall morphology by reducing pulse pressure may have important implications for the future treatment of arterial pathology. Both centrifugal and axial-flow pumps can be miniaturized and are reliable and silent. Doubts about the feasibility of long-term circulation with reduced pulse pressure are disappearing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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