The Physiological Rationale for Incorporating Pulsatility in Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices

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Abstract

Over the past few decades, left ventricular assist device (LVAD) support has extended the lives of many patients with end-stage heart failure. The most common devices are continuous-flow (CF) LVADs. The use of the CF-LVADs has required that clinicians learn the physiological and clinical consequences of long-term continuous blood flow. While this alteration in the normal physiology still offers advantages from mechanical circulatory support, the lack of pulsatility may also increase the likelihood of adverse events. However, it is currently unknown whether newly evolved devices should incorporate pulsatility. In this article, we discuss the possible benefits of incorporating pulsatility, while maintaining the benefits of the CF-LVAD, to maximize the treatment of patients.

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