Children born with anatomic or functional “single ventricle” must progress through two or more major operations to sustain life. This management sequence culminates in the total cavopulmonary connection, or “Fontan” operation. A consequence of the “Fontan circulation”, however, is elevated central venous pressure and inadequate ventricular preload, which contribute to continued morbidity. We propose a solution to these problems by increasing pulmonary blood flow using an “injection jet” (IJS) in which the source of blood flow and energy is the ventricle itself. The IJS has the unique property of lowering venous pressure while enhancing pulmonary blood flow and ventricular preload. We report preliminary results of an analysis of this circulation using a tightly-coupled, multi-scale computational fluid dynamics model. Our calculations show that, constraining the excess volume load to the ventricle at 50% (pulmonary to systemic flow ratio of 1.5), an optimally configured IJS can lower venous pressure by 3 mmHg while increasing systemic oxygen delivery. Even this small decrease in venous pressure may have substantial clinical impact on the Fontan patient. These findings support the potential for a straightforward surgical modification to decrease venous pressure, and perhaps improve clinical outcome in selected patients.
Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 20, 2018
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