Synergistic model of cardiac function with a heart assist device

Kim, Eun-jin and Capoccia, Massimo (2019) Synergistic model of cardiac function with a heart assist device. Bioengineering, 7 (1). 1. ISSN 2306-5354 (

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The breakdown of cardiac self-organization leads to heart diseases and failure, the number one cause of death worldwide. The left ventricular pressure–volume relation plays a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of heart diseases. Lumped-parameter models combined with pressure–volume loop analysis are very effective in simulating clinical scenarios with a view to treatment optimization and outcome prediction. Unfortunately, often invoked in this analysis is the traditional, time-varying elastance concept, in which the ratio of the ventricular pressure to its volume is prescribed by a periodic function of time, instead of being calculated consistently according to the change in feedback mechanisms (e.g., the lack or breakdown of self-organization) in heart diseases. Therefore, the application of the time-varying elastance for the analysis of left ventricular assist device (LVAD)–heart interactions has been questioned. We propose a paradigm shift from the time-varying elastance concept to a synergistic model of cardiac function by integrating the mechanical, electric, and chemical activity on microscale sarcomere and macroscale heart levels and investigating the effect of an axial rotary pump on a failing heart. We show that our synergistic model works better than the time-varying elastance model in reproducing LVAD–heart interactions with sufficient accuracy to describe the left ventricular pressure–volume relation.