Right-to-left veno-arterial shunting for right-sided circulatory failure

James P. Slater, Daniel J. Goldstein, Robert C. Ashton, Howard R. Levin, Henry M. Spotnitz, Mehmet C. Oz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background.: Right-sided circulatory failure, a complication of heart transplantation and left ventricular assist device use, results in decreased cardiac output due to diminished flow across the pulmonary circuit. We hypothesized that creation of a controlled right-to-left shunt would result in decompression of the right ventricle and improved systemic cardiac output at tolerable oxygen saturations. We also hypothesized that a peripheral veno-arterial shunt is physiologically superior to a central shunt. Methods.: Right atrial-femoral artery and right atrial-left atrial shunts were created in a large animal model (calf). Right-sided circulatory failure was induced by banding the pulmonary artery. Hemodynamic measures and blood gas determinations were obtained during nonshunted and shunted states. Results.: Peripheral and central shunts resulted in decreased right-sided pressures and increased cardiac output. Arterial oxygen saturation remained greater than 90% during shunting. The peripheral shunt had the added advantage of decreasing left ventricular end-diastolic pressure and left ventricular stroke work. Conclusions.: A controlled right-to-left shunt improved hemodynamics and cardiac output in a large animal model with right-sided circulatory failure. This strategy may be useful in the management of transplant and left ventricular assist device recipients with perioperative right-sided circulatory failure. Our studies also indicate that creation of a peripheral shunt has both physiologic and technical advantages over a central shunt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)978-985
Number of pages8
JournalThe Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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