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METHODS: We developed a system for mechanical circulatory support based on the Jarvik 2000 intraventricular axial flow impeller pump (Jarvik Research, Inc., New York, N.Y.) and percutaneous electric power. The adult pump provides flow at a rate up to 10 L/min with an energy requirement of 7 to 10 watts. The device was implanted into the apex of the left ventricle through a left thoracotomy without cardiopulmonary bypass. A Dacron graft conveyed blood to the descending thoracic aorta. In patients, we will use a skull-mounted carbon pedestal to transmit fine electric wires through the scalp skin. Being highly vascular, the scalp skin is resistant to infection. RESULTS: We tested 16 adult systems and one pediatric system in 17 adult ewes weighing between 60 and 90 kg. Five died of perioperative complications. Twelve survived between 3 and 198 days (mean 44 days) with a functioning device. None of the sheep could receive adequate anticoagulation with warfarin (INR 1.0 to 1.5). Acute thrombotic occlusion occurred after a 3-hour power loss in one device (46 days) but was cleared with streptokinase. In a second animal with endocarditis, the pump inflow became occluded with vegetations. No other device-related problems or important hemolysis developed despite pump speeds between 10,000 and 18,000 rpm. Renal function remained normal in all animals. Autopsy studies showed no pannus ingrowth at the device inflow despite the restrictive left ventricular cavity size. No sign of thromboembolism could be detected in the brains or kidneys. CONCLUSION: Our findings indicate the Jarvik 2000 Oxford System to be a safe and effective circulatory assist device. Potential uses include permanent circulatory support, bridge to transplantation, or bridge to myocardial recovery in acute or chronic left ventricular failure.

Original publication




Journal article


J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg

Publication Date





467 - 474


Animals, Anticoagulants, Blood Vessel Prosthesis, Equipment Design, Female, Heart-Assist Devices, Polyethylene Terephthalates, Sheep, Warfarin