Ventricular Assist Devices

“Transonic Inside” Ensures Adequate Flow through Life-Saving Devices

“Congestive heart failure (CHF) affects 23 million people worldwide including 7.5 million persons in North America.” Alraies MC, Eckman P “Adult heart transplant: indications and outcomes,”  J Thorac Dis. 2014 Aug;6(8):1120-8.

Cardiac transplantation is the treatment of choice for many patients with end-stage heart failure who remain symptomatic despite optimal medical therapy. According to the American Heart Association, 20,000-40,000 patients in the United States would benefit from a heart transplant. Since the supply of viable donor hearts is nowhere near the quantity to meet this need, the left ventricular device has been developed over the last 40 years in response to the need to support failing hearts. In 2013, in comparison to the approximately 2,300 heart transplants that took place in the United States, approximately 4,000 LVADs were implanted. 


Transonic and VAD Development

Transonic’s transit-time volume Flowmeter has been used in the engineering and testing of almost every circulatory support device since founder, Cor Drost, developed the technology in the 1980s. Over the past three decades ventricular assist pump designs have evolved and projects have received corporate backing as an end stage treatment for patients with failing hearts. Completing preclinical animal trials with Transonic Research Perivascular Flowprobes, several devices have been permitted for clinical use as a “Bridge to Transplant”. As more companies race to clinical trial, Transonic Tubing Flowsensors are used to monitor pump performance round the clock in test racks for “Life Cycle Test” data that must be supplied to the FDA. After proof of concept is established, custom Flowsensors and Flowboards are created for OEM devices. With Transonic technology accurately and reliably measuring flow at all stages of development and implementation, lifesaving VADs have become a reality.


An LVAD with "Transonic Inside"

(Originally the MicroMed DeBakey VAD now the ReliantHeart, HeartAssist 5)

Reliant Heart LVADThe HeartAssist 5 was jointly developed through of collaboration between Dr. Michael DeBakey and Dr. George Noon, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Weighing less than four ounces, the HA5 produces up to 10L/min of flow with a continuous output pump that passes any pulsatility from the native heart through to the patient. It is approximately 1/10 the size of the pulsatile LVADs that were on the market when it was introduced. To date, though in still small patient numbers, it has shown lower complication rates than the other pumps on the market. It is the only LVAD pump with an implanted Flowprobe that provides True Flow capability. Together with its real time 24/7 output stream via cell phone network available worldwide, it is the only pump that can be followed for performance both electrically and in actual output waveform.


Follow this link to learn about Transonic’s Research involvement with VADs.