Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering






Fontan operation as the current standard of care for the palliation of single ventricle defects results in significant late complications. Using a mechanical circulatory device for the right circulation to serve the function of the missing subpulmonary ventricle could potentially stabilize the failing Fontan circulation. This study aims to elucidate the hydraulic operating regions that should be targeted for designing cavopulmonary blood pumps. By integrating numerical analysis and available clinical information, the interaction of the cavopulmonary support via the IVC and full assist configurations with a wide range of simulated adult failing scenarios was investigated; with IVC and full assist corresponding to the inferior venous return or the entire venous return, respectively, being routed through the device. We identified the desired hydraulic operating regions for a cavopulmonary assist device by clustering all head pressures and corresponding pump flows that result in hemodynamic improvement for each simulated failing Fontan physiology. Results show that IVC support can produce beneficial hemodynamics in only a small fraction of failing Fontan scenarios. Cavopulmonary assist device could increase cardiac index by 35% and decrease the inferior vena cava pressure by 45% depending on the patient's pre-support hemodynamic state and surgical configuration of the cavopulmonary assist device (IVC or full support). The desired flow-pressure operating regions we identified can serve as the performance criteria for designing cavopulmonary assist devices as well as evaluating off-label use of commercially available left-side blood pumps for failing Fontan cavopulmonary support.


This manuscript has been published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. Please find the published version here (note that a subscription is necessary to access this version):

IEEE holds the copyright in this article