Greyhounds used in ‘a series of acute experiments’ with rotary blood pumps implanted in their hearts 

Researchers from Monash University and Alfred Hospital used 5 greyhound dogs in ‘a series of acute experiments’ in an attempt to investigate the physiological characteristics associated with or underlying ventricular suction in relation to rotary blood pump function.

The dogs were premedicated with acetylpromazine (used in animals as a means of chemical restraint) and atropine (a muscle relaxant), and then anaesthetised. The dogs then had a number of monitoring lines inserted into their hearts, including a pulmonary artery catheter system, as well as a number of separate cannulae inserted via surgical cut-down. The rotary blood pump device was then implanted into the dogs’ hearts.

Following implantation, a number of different circulatory states were induced, such as changes in blood volume and other effects induced by the use of different drugs. Different ‘pumping states’ were analysed (normal flow, mild suction, severe suction, and suction with arrhythmias).

In one of the dogs, ‘the severity of suction progressed to a level not seen in the others’.

The fate out of greyhounds at the conclusion of the experiment is not stated.

(Salamonsen, R, Lim, E, Moloney, J, Lovell, N & Rosenfeldt, F 2015. ‘Anatomy and Physiology of Left Ventricular Suction Induced by Rotary Blood Pumps’, Artificial Organs, 39(8): 681-690.)

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