Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

ASAIO Journal


Study: Recent analyses show that females have higher early postoperative (PO) mortality and right ventricular failure (RVF) than males after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation; and that this association is partially mediated by smaller LV size in females. Benchtop experiments allow us to investigate patient-specific (PS) characteristics in a reproducible way given the fact that the PS anatomy and physiology is mimicked accurately. With multiple heart models of varying LV size, we can directly study the individual effects of titrating the LVAD speed and the resulting bi-ventricular volumes, shedding light on the interplay between LV and RV as well as resulting inter-ventricular septum (IVS) positions, which may cause the different outcomes pertaining to sex.

Methods: In vitro, we studied the impact of the heart size to IVS position using two smaller and two larger sized PS silicone heart phantoms derived from clinical CT images (Fig. 1A). With ultrasound crystals that were integrated on a placeholder inflow cannula, the IVS position was measured during LV and RV volume changes (dV) mimicking varying ventricular loading states (Fig. 1B). Figure 1 A Two small (blue) and two large PS heart phantoms (orange) on B benchtop. C Median septum curvature results. LVEDD/LVV/RVV: LV enddiastolic diameter/LV and RV volume.

Results: Going from small to large dV, at zero curvature, the septum starts to shift towards the left; for smaller hearts at dV = -40 mL and for larger hearts at dV = -50 mL (Fig. 1C). This result indicates that smaller hearts are more prone to an IVS shift to the left than larger hearts. We conclude that smaller LV size may therefore mediate increased early PO LVAD mortality and RVF observed in females compared to males. Novel 3D silicone printing technology enables us to study accurate, PS heart models across a heterogeneous patient population. PS relationships can be studied simultaneously to clinical assessments and support the decision-making prior to LVAD implantation.




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