PMID: 1083720May 1, 1976

A new approach to left heart decompression

The Annals of Thoracic Surgery
R O Heimbecker, F N McKenzie


A simple, safe, indirect technique for decompression of the left heart is described. Pulmonary artery venting produces immediate and total decompression of the left heart through spontaneous retrograde pulmonary flow across the open mitral valve in the hypothermic (29 degrees C) electrically fibrillated heart. This allows free retrograde flow of left heart blood across the pulmonary valve into the right ventricle, where it is taken up by the usual caval cannulas. In 25 of 66 consecutive patients undergoing elective ventricular fibrillation and anoxic arrest, left heart venting was necessary as indicated by rising left heart pressures. Total cardiac decompression was immediately and completely achieved by this simple indirect technique. Direct left heart venting, with its associated risks and disadvantages, was never necessary, and we now consider it obsolete.


Sep 1, 1972·The Annals of Thoracic Surgery·M AdamB F Mitchel
Mar 1, 1974·The Annals of Thoracic Surgery·H Siderys


May 1, 1977·The Annals of Thoracic Surgery·F J BolganR L Guarino
Apr 1, 1981·The Annals of Thoracic Surgery·I M Ross, T E Theman
Apr 1, 1979·The Annals of Thoracic Surgery·T A Salerno, E J Charrette
Oct 1, 1979·The Annals of Thoracic Surgery·E R Munnell, R N Grantham
Nov 1, 1989·The Annals of Thoracic Surgery·I M MitchellD N Taylor

Related Concepts

Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery
Decompression, External
Cardiac Catheterization Procedures
Cardiac Surgery Procedures
Heart Valve Disease
Pulmonary Artery Structure

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