This study showed the usefulness of maintaining positive pump flow to avoid endocardial suction and as an assist bypass. Three calves were implanted with centrifugal pumps. Hemodynamics and pump parameters were measured at varying pump speeds (from 1,100 to 2,300 rpm). In each test pump, speed was adjusted to create 3 hemodynamic states: Both positive and negative flow (PNF), positive and zero flow (PZF), and continuously positive flow (CPF). The pump flow volume was determined during systole (Vs) and diastole (Vd). Vs in PNF was 29.6 ml and was not significantly different from Vs in PZF (p > 0.15). Vd in PNF was significantly different from Vd in PZF (p < 0.05). All bypass rates of PNF were over 30% of pulmonary flow. All PZF bypass rates were between the PNF rate and the CPF rate. These data showed that PZF satisfied the minimum requirement of assist flow and was under 100% bypass. Thus, PZF may avoid endocardial suction.
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