A diastolic counterpulsator that uses either skeletal muscle or pneumatic actuation was developed. The unit is positioned between the latissimus dorsi and the chest wall, without interference with collateral blood supply, and is connected in series with the descending aorta. The system was able to generate stroke volumes between 52 and 16 ccs against pressures of 60 and 140 mmHg, respectively. Stroke work at 200 msec stimulation averaged 2.8 × 106 ergs. Power output at an afterload of 100 mmHg, and at a rate of 60 bpm, was 0.51 W. Back-up pneumatic actuation provided by an intraaortic balloon pump resulted in a 46% increase in the endocardial viability ratio.
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