Journal article

Hemodynamic Impact of the C-Pulse Cardiac Support Device: A One-Dimensional Arterial Model Study

The C-Pulse is a novel extra-aortic counterpulsation device to unload the heart in patients with heart failure. Its impact on overall hemodynamics, however, is not fully understood. In this study, the function of the C-Pulse heart assist system is implemented in a onedimensional (1-D) model of the arterial tree, and central and peripheral pressure and flow waveforms with the C-Pulse turned on and off were simulated. The results were studied using wave intensity analysis and compared with in vivo data measured non-invasively in three patients with heart failure and with invasive data measured in a large animal (pig). In all cases the activation of the C-Pulse was discernible by the presence of a diastolic augmentation in the pressure and flow waveforms. Activation of the device initiates a forward traveling compression wave, whereas a forward traveling expansion wave is associated to the device relaxation, with waves exerting an action in the coronary and the carotid vascular beds. We also found that the stiffness of the arterial tree is an important determinant of action of the device. In settings with reduced arterial compliance, the same level of aortic compression demands higher values of external pressure, leading to stronger hemodynamic effects and enhanced perfusion. We conclude that the 1-D model may be used as an efficient tool for predicting the hemodynamic impact of the C-Pulse system in the entire arterial tree, complementing in vivo observations.


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