Six-month survival of a calf with an artificial heart.
A pneumatically powered artificial heart, constructed primarily from a polyurethane, was implanted in the chest of a calf and supported the calf for more than 6 months. The heart, which was designed to fit in the chest of a 90 kilogram calf, was able to suppor the animal when it weighed 180 kilograms. During the first 105 days the calf remained strong and healthy. The animal grew progressively weaker after day 106, and by day 160 right heart failure became apparent. The principal cause of the right heart failure was an obstructive growth between the right atrium and the right ventricle. An attempt to correct the problem on day 184 with an artificial heart resulted in the animal's death.
Lawson, JH; Fukumasu, H; Olsen, DB; Jarvik, RK; Kessler, TR; Coleman, D; Pons, AB; Blaylock, R; Kolff, WJ
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