CFD testing of HeartAssist® LVAD performance under realistic working conditions

VADs are increasingly used to mitigate the shortfall in donor organs for cardiopathic patients awaiting heart transplants annually by providing a bridge-to-transplant, or to stabilize patients with congestive heart failure. While rotary VADs have smaller dimensions and simpler structures than pulsatile VADs, their continuous, high-speed, rotating blood-flow patterns represent a potential risk factor to patients from thrombus formation, thromboembolic complications or device malfunction due to pump thrombosis. Pump thrombosis is one of the main causes for device malfunction, and patients are exposed to the risk of sudden death or the risks involved in complex device replacement surgery. In this work, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations were performed to mimic the realistic operative conditions of the VAD HeartAssist 5® (HA5, ReliantHeart Inc., USA). CFD analysis can be exploited to predict blood flow streamlines passing through these devices. Read the full case study here: