We previously reported renal arterial periarteritis after implantation of a continuous-flow left ventricular assist device in calves. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether the same periarteritis changes occur in the intrapulmonary arteries after implantation of a continuous-flow right ventricular assist device (CFRVAD) in calves and to determine the mechanism of those histologic changes.Methods
Ten calves were implanted with a CFRVAD for 29 ± 7 days, and we compared pulmonary artery samples and hemodynamic data before and after CFRVAD implantation prospectively.Results
After implantation, the pulsatility index (pulmonary arterial pulse pressure/pulmonary arterial mean pressure) significantly decreased (0.88 ± 0.40 before vs 0.51 ± 0.22 after; p < 0.05), with severe periarteritis of the intrapulmonary arteries in all animals. Periarterial pathology included hyperplasia and inflammatory cell infiltration. The number of inflammatory cells positive for the angiotensin II type 1 receptor was significantly higher after implantation (7.8 ± 6.5 pre-CFRVAD vs 313.2 ± 145.2 at autopsy; p < 0.01). Serum angiotensin-converting enzyme activity significantly decreased after implantation from 100% to 49.7 ± 17.7% at week 1 (p = 0.01). Tissue levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme also demonstrated a significant reduction (0.381 ± 0.232 before implantation vs 0.123 ± 0.096 at autopsy; p = 0.043).Conclusions
Periarteritis occurred in the intrapulmonary arteries of calves after CFRVAD implantation. The local renin-angiotensin system (not the angiotensin-converting enzyme pathway) plays an important role in such changes.