Doppler Ultrasound Evaluation of Circulatory Support Devices

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Abstract

In the setting of mechanical circulatory support devices, including ventricular assist devices, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, intraaortic balloon pumps, and the total artificial heart, the spectral Doppler waveform is significantly altered, reflecting systemic hemodynamic changes. As the prevalence of these devices increases, a better understanding of both the devices themselves and their associated Doppler ultrasound findings is necessary for accurate image interpretation. This article reviews the clinical indications, pathophysiology, and sonographic findings of these devices, with emphasis on the variation in arterial Doppler waveforms that can be seen with normal function, as well as the major complications.

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