Intraventricular LVAD Measures Blood Flow Directly

By HospiMedica International staff writers  August 17, 2016


A new left ventricular assist device (LVAD) provides direct flow measurement, which may give clinicians the ability to detect potential patient problems earlier.

The aVAD with VadLink is an intraventricular, axial flow LVAD that while only 2.5 centimeters in diameter, provides a 1.2 cm main channel that rests outside the ventricle. A second component inserted into the heart contains an adjustable pump depth mechanism to provide optimal action. Deep linear channels help transport blood through the pump, away from the dangerous forces of radial shear. The also features direct flow measurement and 3G cellular-powered remote monitoring, allowing clinical teams to notice problems and make corrections sooner.

Additional features include active magnetic stabilization, which pulls the pump’s impeller precisely between the front and rear retention cups, and directional retention. ReliantHeart CEO, Rodger Ford, has led the acceleration of the aVAD features. A FastConnect system provides for adjustable pump depth inside the ventricle, and the entire aVAD driveline is disconnectable just below the diaphragm, so that in the event of driveline infection, it can be removed and replaced with a new one. The aVAD is a product of ReliantHeart (Houston, TX, USA), and has received the European Community CE mark of approval.

“Other LVADs have a calculated flow measurement, as opposed to the flow sensor aVAD uses; the first thing [physicians] need to do is trust the flow,” said Rodger Ford, CEO of ReliantHeart. “In addition, clinicians will need to gain experience with remote monitoring and the VadLink system. Physicians will need to set the alarms properly so that the thresholds for low flow or high power provide an advance warning of something that could be a bad outcome.” And Ford explains: “remote monitoring of true flow is available 24/7 over the system”.

An LVAD does not replace the heart, but is intended to complement a weakened heart by providing circulatory support. Surgically implanted in proximity to the heart, one end is attached to the left ventricle, while the other is attached to the aorta. Blood flows from the ventricles into the pump and is then ejected out of the device and into the aorta.