Clinical Results and Pump Analysis of the Gyro Pump for Long-Term Extracorporeal Life Support

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Rescuing patients in severe cardiac failure with extracorporeal support remains challenging. The Gyro pump is a centrifugal blood pump and was now used for cardiopulmonary bypass, although it was originally developed for long-term cardiac assist. Little is known about clinical experiences using this pump. Here, we report on the clinical results of long-term extracorporeal life support for over 4 days using the Gyro pump with Excelung, a hollow fiber oxygenator coated with silicone and heparin. Seven patients underwent extracorporeal life support with 15 pump and oxygenator combinations. Gyro and Excelung were used for venoarterial extracorporeal support in six patients and for right ventricular support in one patient. Patient characteristics, pump driving conditions, and blood chemistry were obtained retrospectively. All pumps were subsequently disassembled and examined macroscopically, with 6 of 15 pumps also examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The patient mortality rate was 57.1%. Mean duration of support was 10.5 ± 7.2 days per pump and oxygenator combination. Lactate dehydrogenase and aspartate aminotransferase were generally maintained below 1000 and 100 IU/L, respectively, after the first 4 days of pump driving. Thrombi were found in two pumps, one used without anticoagulation and the other driven at a very slow rotational speed. SEM revealed no wear in the male bearings and very low wear and deformation (0.02 ± 0.03 mm) in the female bearings. The combination of Gyro and Excelung may be applicable for long-term biventricular and right ventricular support, although proper anticoagulation should be administrated to avoid thrombus formation inside the pump.

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