Pulseless Heart Developed at Texas Heart Institute by Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier

By on Jun 16, 2011 in Amazing, Health, Science, United States, World Comments

A pulseless heart has been developed by Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, several science news sites reported on Monday, June 13, 2011.

Reports said that the pulseless heart uses rotors to circulate blood throughout the body instead of mimicking a natural heart which uses contractions. Because of this, no pulse or heartbeat will be heard on person using the heart.

Pulseless Heart X-Ray
X-ray of Craig Lewis’ Pulseless Heart
Credit: Texas Heart Institute

According to reports, the heart has been used in an 8-month-old calf named Abigail inside the institute’s animal research laboratory. The heart of the calf had been removed and replaced with two centrifugal pumps. According to Dr. Cohn, the calf’s arteries have no pulse and if examined with a stethoscope, no heartbeat will be heard.

“By every metric we have to analyze patients, she’s not living,” Cohn reportedly said. “But here you can see she’s a vigorous, happy, playful calf licking my hand.” The device has been successfully tested in 38 calves, according to reports.

For humans, the device was first used in March by Craig Lewis, a 55-year-old Texas man who was dying of amyloidosis. According to his doctors, he had about 12 hours left to live when Lewis agreed to the heart replacement. He reportedly lived for a month without a pulse or a heartbeat before he died of liver and kidney complications.

According to reports, Dr. Cohn and Dr. Frazier believe that their pulseless heart is an improvement on the normal heart pumps. The device is likely to last longer because it only has two moving parts. “These pumps don’t wear out,” Dr. Frazier was quoted saying.

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