In vitro and in vivo testing of a totally implantable left ventricular assist system. ASAIO transactions / American Society for Artificial Internal Organs Jassawalla, J. S., Daniel, M. A., Chen, H., Lee, J., LaForge, D., BILLICH, J., Ramasamy, N., Miller, P. J., Oyer, P. E., Portner, P. M. 1988; 34 (3): 470-475


The totally implantable Novacor LVAS is being tested under NIH auspices to demonstrate safety and efficacy before clinical trials. Twelve complete systems (submerged in saline at 37 degrees C) are being tested, with an NIH goal of demonstrating 80% reliability for 2 year operation with a 60% confidence level. The systems, which are continuously monitored, are diurnally cycled between two output levels by automatically varying preload and afterload. Currently, 14.3 years of failure-free operation have been accumulated, with a mean duration of 14 months. Using an exponential failure distribution model, the mean time to failure (MTTF) is greater than 8.8 years, corresponding to a demonstrated reliability (for a 2 year mission time) of 80% (80% confidence level). Recent ovine experiments with VAS subsystems include a 767 day volume compensator implant, a 279 day pump/drive unit implant and a 1,448 day BST implant. The last 12 chronic pump/drive unit experiments had a mean duration of 153 days (excluding early postoperative complications). This compares favorably with the NIH goals for complete systems (5 month mean duration). Complete system experiments are currently underway.

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