Just like a human heart, the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH) is pulsatile and consists of two ventricles and four valves that pump blood throughout the body. The SynCardia TAH is made of a special biocompatible plastic, which offers a high degree of fatigue resistance and strength for long-term durability.
The SynCardia TAH is a fixed rate device, which means after the beat rate is set, the beats per minute will stay the same, even when your activity level changes. A typical setting is around 125 beats per minute. When you exercise, no adjustments need to be made to the device. Your body will automatically return more blood to the TAH, which will then pump that increased amount of blood back out to your body.
The SynCardia TAH comes in two sizes: 70cc and 50cc. The 70cc TAH fits a majority of men and some women. It is capable of generating blood flow of up to 9.5 liters per minute depending on the patient. The smaller 50cc TAH is designed to fit a majority of women and some adolescents. It can generate blood flow of up to 7.5 liters per minute depending on the patient. In comparison, the average human heart at rest pumps an average of 5 liters of blood per minute.
Yes. A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a heart pump that is implanted next to the failing heart and supports the left ventricle only. In contrast, the TAH replaces, and occupies the space of, the removed failing heart and pumps blood through both the left and right ventricles.