Pulsed or continuous flow in long-term assist devices: a debated topic.
The end-stage cardiomyopathy is an increasing worldwide problem. Cardiac transplantation lacks sufficient donors to treat all patients, and there is thus debate about alternative strategies. The use of left ventricular assist devices for long-term support is increasing with a positive impact on patient survival. Although there is an ongoing debate regarding the risks and benefits of maintaining pulsatile flow during long-term ventricular assist device support, there has been a significant move towards implantation of continuous flow devices due to the lower surgical morbidity and better long-term reliability of these pumps. The following is a review of the literature on continuous and pulsatile flow for long-term support. Starting from the definition of flow, we analyze the current evidence and consider gastrointestinal complications.
Division of Cardiac Surgery, Mauriziano Umberto I Hospital, L.goTurati 62, 10135 Turin, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
SourceTransplantation reviews (Orlando, Fla.) 26:4 2012 Oct pg 241-5
Pub Type(s)Journal Article