Concomitant pulsatile and continuous flow VAD in biventricular and univentricular physiology: a comparison study with a numerical model



To develop and test a lumped parameter model to simulate and compare the effects of the simultaneous use of continuous flow (CF) and pulsatile flow (PF) ventricular assist devices (VADs) to assist biventricular circulation vs. single ventricle circulation in pediatrics.


Baseline data of 5 patients with biventricular circulation eligible for LVAD and of 5 patients with Fontan physiology were retrospectively collected and used to simulate patient baselines. Then, for each patient the following simulations were performed: (a) CF VAD to assist the left ventricle (single ventricle) + a PF VAD to assist the right ventricle (cavo-pulmonary connection) (LCF + RPF); (b) PF VAD to assist the left ventricle (single ventricle) + a CF VAD to assist the right ventricle (cavo-pulmonary connection) (RCF + LPF)


In biventricular circulation, the following results were found: cardiac output (17% RCF + LPF, 21% LCF + RPF), artero-ventricular coupling (-36% for the left ventricle and -21.6% for the right ventricle), pulsatility index (+6.4% RCF + LPF, p = 0.02; -8.5% LCF + RPF, p = 0.00009). Right (left) atrial pressure and right (left) ventricular volumes are decreased by the RCF + LPF (by RPF + LCF). Pulmonary arterial pressure decreases in the LCF + RPF configuration. In Fontan physiology: cardiac output (LCF + RPF 35% vs. 8% in RCF + LPF), ventricular preload (+4% RCF + LPF, -10% LCF + RPF), Fontan conduit pressure (-5% RCF + LPF, +7% LCF + RPF), artero-ventricular coupling (-14% RCF + LPF vs. -41% LCF + RPF) and pulsatility (+13% RCF + LPF, - 8% LCF + RPF).


A numerical model supports clinicians in defining and innovating the VAD implantation strategy to maximize the hemodynamic benefits. Results suggest that the hemodynamic benefits are maximized by the LCF + RPF configuration.

Int J Artif Organs 2017; 40(2): 74 - 81




Arianna Di Molfetta, Gianfranco Ferrari, Roberta Iacobelli, Sergio Filippelli, Paolo Guccione, Libera Fresiello, Gianluigi Perri, Antonio Amodeo

Article History


Financial support: The authors would like to express their appreciation to the CONAD group for supporting “A new Heart” project at the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital.
Conflict of interest: None of the authors has any financial interest related to this study to disclose.

This article is available as full text PDF.

  • If you are a Subscriber, please log in now.

  • Article price: Eur 36,00
  • You will be granted access to the article for 72 hours and you will be able to download any format (PDF or ePUB). The article will be available in your login area under "My PayPerView". You will need to register a new account (unless you already own an account with this journal), and you will be guided through our online shop. Online purchases are paid by Credit Card through PayPal.
  • If you are not a Subscriber you may:
  • Subscribe to this journal
  • Unlimited access to all our archives, 24 hour a day, every day of the week.



  • Department of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, Rome - Italy
  • Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Center, Rome - Italy
  • Department of Cardiac Surgery, Catholic University of Leuven, Leuven - Belgium

Article usage statistics

The blue line displays unique views in the time frame indicated.
The yellow line displays unique downloads.
Views and downloads are counted only once per session.

No supplementary material is available for this article.