Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Dynamic cardiomyoplasty (DCM) is an emerging surgical procedure for heart failure in which the patient's latissimus dorsi (LD) muscle is wrapped around the heart and stimulated to contract in synchrony with the heartbeat as a cardiac assist measure. A 6 week training protocol of progressive electrical stimulation renders the normally fatigueable skeletal muscle fatigue-resistant and suitable for chronic stimulation. To date, over 500 procedures have been performed in worldwide clinical trials. Investigators typically report symptomatic improvement and modest hemodynamic improvement in patients. Controversy exists regarding the exact mechanism of DCM. To test the hypothesis that DCM augments cardiac stroke volume through improvement in systolic function, we formulated an engineering model of dynamic cardiomyoplasty to predict stroke volume. The heart and the LD were modeled as nested (series) elastance chambers, and the vasculature was represented by a two-element Windkessel model. Using five healthy goats, we verified model predictions of stroke volume for both stimulator ON beats (y=1.00x−0.08, r=0.87, p 〈 0.0001) and OFF beats (y=1.01x+1.06, r=0.91, p 〈 0.0001), where x and y are the measured and predicted stroke volumes, respectively. The model confirms that using untrained latissimus dorsi applied to the normal myocardium produces only moderate increases in stroke volume and suggests that future research should focus on increasing LD strength after training.
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