Research Article| Volume 37, ISSUE 4, P663-682, April 1955

Extracorporeal circulation: The role of the pulse in maintenance of the systemic circulation during heart-lung by-pass

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      • 1.
        1. A method for the study of the role of the pulse is described. It employs total diversion of blood around the left heart or heart and lungs of experimental animals with perfusion of the entire systemic circulation using flows of known characteristics.
      • 2.
        2. Experimental animals were subjected to left heart or heart-lung by-pass with maintenance of the systemic circulation using flows with normal amplitude pulsation, reduced amplitude pulsation, or no pulsation. One group of animals were subjected to additional resection of the heart and lungs during nonpulsatile perfusion.
      • 3.
        3. Irrespective of the type of flow used to perfuse the systemic circulation, the triad of blood pressure, pump minute flow, and blood volume (blood balance) remained constant.
      • 4.
        4. Animals of the pulsatile and nonpulsatile categories demonstrated normal function of the central nervous system, heart, and kidneys and normal vascular reactivity during perfusions.
      • 5.
        5. Animals of both categories recovered equally rapidly during the early postoperative period.
      • 6.
        6. The experimental data indicate that the total peripheral vascular tone remains unaltered during nonpulsatile perfusion of the systemic circulation in the entire, intact experimental dog.
      • 7.
        7. The importance of these data to an understanding of normal vascular dynamics and to the design of extracorporeal heart pumps is discussed.
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