Hemodynamic Performance of a Novel Right Ventricular Assist Device (PERKAT)

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Acute right ventricular failure (RVF) is an increasing clinical problem and a life-threatening condition. Right ventricular assist devices represent a reasonable treatment option for patients with refractory RVF. We here present a novel percutaneously implantable device for right ventricular support. The PERKAT device is based on a nitinol stent cage, which is covered with valve-carrying foils. A flexible outlet trunk with a pigtail tip is connected to the distal part. The device is driven by an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) drive unit, which inflates/deflates a standard IABP-balloon placed within the stent cage. In-vitro evaluation was done in a liquid bath containing water or blood analog. The PERKAT device was tested in different afterload settings using two different IABP-balloons and varying inflation/deflation rates. We detected flow rates ranging from 1.97 to 3.93 L/min depending on the afterload setting, inflation/deflation rate, balloon size, and the medium used. Flow rates between water and blood analog were nearly comparable, and in the higher inflation/deflation rate settings slightly higher with water. Based on this promising in vitro data, the innovative percutaneously implantable PERKAT device has a potential to become a therapeutic option for patients with RVF refractory to medical treatment.

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