Although mechanical circulatory support (MCS) can improve myocardial function in patients with advanced heart failure, its effects on relative myocardial perfusion are unclear. Using positron emission tomographic imaging techniques, the authors assessed relative myocardial perfusion in patients with ischemic or idiopathic cardiomyopathy who were receiving chronic MCS with a left ventricular assist device (pulsatile HeartMate [n = 2] [Thoratec Corporation, Pleasanton, CA] or nonpulsatile Jarvik 2000 [n = 4] [Jarvik Heart, Inc., New York, NY]). Relative myocardial perfusion was compared at lower and higher levels of MCS (50 vs. 100 - 110 ejections/min for the HeartMate and 8000 vs. 12,000 rpm for the Jarvik 2000). The size and severity of perfusion defects at rest and after dipyridamole stress were measured objectively and subjectively by computer algorithms and visual inspection, respectively. Relative myocardial perfusion increased > 5% from baseline in only one of six patients when MCS was increased. No change in relative myocardial perfusion of > 5% was seen in any of the other five patients, even after subsequent dipyridamole stress positron emission tomographic imaging. These pilot study findings suggest that the decreased metabolic requirements induced by ventricular unloading correspondingly decreased blood flow requirements to physiologically inactive myocardium.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine