Percutaneous Cavopulmonary Assist: From Design to 96 Hour Survival in Lethal Cavopulmonary Failure Sheep

Li Li, Jingkun Wang, Guangfeng Zhao, Stephen Topaz, David Morales, Ajit Yoganathan, Cherry Ballard-Croft, Joseph B. Zwischenberger, Dongfang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We are developing a clinically practical percutaneous double lumen cannula (DLC)-based cavopulmonary assist (CPA) system to support failing Fontan patients. In this study, our CPA DLC was redesigned for even blood flow, minimal recirculation, and easy insertion/deployment. After bench testing, this new CPA system was evaluated for 4 hours (n = 10) and 96 hours (n = 5) in our clinically relevant lethal cavopulmonary failure (CPF) sheep model for ease of cannulation/deployment, reversal of CPF hemodynamics/end-organ hypoperfusion, and durability/biocompatibility. Cavopulmonary failure was achieved in all sheep. All DLCs were successfully inserted/deployed into Fontan anatomy. Cavopulmonary assist reversed CPF with normalized central venous pressure and cardiac output. All survival sheep were ambulatory with normal eating/drinking. One sheep was euthanized after 6 hours from cannula kinking, and one sheep died of hypokalemia after 8 hours. Three sheep survived 96 hours with normal hemodynamics. Free hemoglobin was only 3.7 ± 1.2 mg/dl at 96 hours, indicating negligible hemolysis. Creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, and lactate increased from hypoperfusion but normalized by 72 hours CPA. Necropsy showed only a small, immobilized thrombus ring at umbrella attachment to DLC. Our DLC-based system provided total ambulatory CPA in a lethal CPF sheep model with 96 hour survival and complete reversal of hemodynamics and end-organ hypoperfusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-808
Number of pages7
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.


  • ambulatory
  • cavopulmonary assist
  • cavopulmonary failure
  • double lumen cannula
  • failing Fontan
  • sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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