The ability of a left ventricular balloon pump to provide support of the circulation when myocardial function had been severely impaired was examined in six dogs. When the unassisted damaged left ventricle could not maintain systemic blood flows adequate for survival, left ventricular balloon pumping resulted in peripheral blood flows which ranged from 37 to 77 ml/min/kg. These balloon-generated blood flows have been maintained for periods up to three hours. Assist of the circulation by balloon pumping was accompanied by an increase in systemic arterial blood pressure and a decrease in left atrial end-diastolic pressure. The effectiveness of left ventricular balloon pumping was reduced in hypovolemia and in the presence of ventricular extrasystolic beats. Left ventricular balloon pumping was not effective in generating a sustained peripheral flow of blood when the heart was fibrillating.
- © 1971 American Heart Association, Inc.