Journal of Artificial Organs

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 482–485 | Cite as

Lumbar muscle atrophy caused by harness replacement in a chronic calf model of total artificial heart implantation

  • Jamshid H. KarimovEmail author
  • Kimberly A. Such
  • Raymond Dessoffy
  • Kiyotaka FukamachiEmail author
Brief Communication Artificial Heart (Basic)


The postoperative care of animals implanted with mechanical circulatory support devices is complex. The standard of care requires continuous monitoring of hemodynamic parameters post implant, wound care, and maintenance of the animal’s well-being, but also includes controlling the animal’s biomechanics under conditions of continuous restraint and harnessing. In such studies, a harness provides secure fixation of the exteriorized device driveline and pressure lines and aids animal handling (lifting, position adjustment, and assistance with standing up). Harnessing is a key element in large-animal surgery. It affects the animal’s conditions, safety, and post-procedure troubleshooting and thus may drastically worsen postoperative outcomes if improperly handled. Here we report a case associated with an unplanned harness replacement in a chronic animal model implanted with the Cleveland Clinic continuous-flow total artificial heart. Inadvertent changes to the harness resulted in posture change caused by muscular atrophy of the calf’s spine that had been under long-term harness support.


Assisted circulation Experimental surgery Heart-assist devices Models, animal 



This study is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Grant 5R01HL096619 (to KF).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflict of interest. The CFTAH was licensed to Cleveland Heart, Inc., a Cleveland Clinic spin-off company.


  1. 1.
    Karimov JH, Moazami N, Kobayashi M, et al. First report of 90-day support of 2 calves with a continuous-flow total artificial heart. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015;150:687–93.e1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Karimov JH, Moazami N, Sunagawa G, et al. Median sternotomy or right thoracotomy techniques for total artificial heart implantation in calves. Artif Organs. 2016;40:1022–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Riley LH, Eck JC, Yoshida H, Koh YD, You JW, Lim TH. A biomechanical comparison of calf versus cadaver lumbar spine models. Spine. 2004;29:E217–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wilke HJ, Krischak ST, Wenger KH, Claes LE. Load-displacement properties of the thoracolumbar calf spine: experimental results and comparison to known human data. Eur Spine J. 1997;6:129–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    An HS, Lim TH, You JW, Hong JH, Eck J, McGrady L. Biomechanical evaluation of anterior thoracolumbar spinal instrumentation. Spine. 1995;15:1979–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Swartz DE, Wittenberg RH, Shea M, White AA, Hayes WC. Physical and mechanical properties of calf lumbosacral trabecular bone. J Biomech. 1991;24:1059–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Artificial Organs 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lerner Research InstituteCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA
  2. 2.Biological Resources Unit, Lerner Research InstituteCleveland ClinicClevelandUSA

Personalised recommendations