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November 1960

Prolonged Venoarterial Pumping for Circulation Support

Author Affiliations


From the Boston City Hospital, and the Circulation Laboratory of The Presbyterian Hospital and The Glover Clinic, Philadelphia.

Arch Intern Med. 1960;106(5):639-646. doi:10.1001/archinte.1960.03820050051010

In potentially reversible situations with diminished cardiac outputs such as acute myocardial infarction, massive pulmonary embolism, and intractable congestive heart failure due to a lesion amenable to surgery, mechanical support of the circulation for a number of days may be useful.1,2 Animal work has shown that it is possible to relieve acute heart failure by pumping blood from the great veins to the aorta,3 and artificial heart-lung apparatus has been used for short periods in man.4,5

An extracorporeal circuit 6 for prolonged circulation support is presented. Blood is drained by gravity from the superior vena cava and pumped without oxygenation into the aorta at the bifurcation. The splanchnic bed is perfused by a mixture of oxygenated blood and blood from the shunt. The procedure tends to increase systemic blood flow and reduce cardiac output. The system is closed so that the dangers of contamination and air embolism

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