Hybrid model analysis of intra-aortic balloon pump performance as a function of ventricular and circulatory parameters

Gianfranco Ferrari, Ashraf W. Khir, Libera Fresiello, Arianna di Molfetta, Maciej Kozarski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the effects of the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) on endocardial viability ratio (EVR), cardiac output (CO), end-systolic (V es) and end-diastolic (V ed) ventricular volumes, total coronary blood flow (TCBF), and ventricular energetics (external work [EW], pressure-volume area [PVA]) under different ventricular (E max and diastolic stiffness) and circulatory (arterial compliance) parameters. We derived a hybrid model from a computational model, which is based on merging computational and hydraulic submodels. The lumped parameter computational submodel consists of left and right hearts and systemic, pulmonary, and coronary circulations. The hydraulic submodel includes part of the systemic arterial circulation, essentially a silicone rubber tube representing the aorta, which contains a 40-mL IAB. EVR, CO, V es, and V ed, TCBF and ventricular energetics (EW, PVA) were analyzed against the ranges of left ventricular E max (0.3-0.5-1mmHg/cm 3) and diastolic stiffness V stiffness (≈0.08 and ≈0.3mmHg/cm 3, obtained by changing diastolic stiffness constant) and systemic arterial compliance (1.8-2.5cm 3/mmHg). All experiments were performed comparing the selected variables before and during IABP assistance. Increasing E maxl from 0.5 to 2mmHg/cm 3 resulted in IABP assistance producing lower percentage changes in the selected variables. The changes in ventricular diastolic stiffness strongly influence both absolute value of EVR and its variations during IABP (71 and 65% for lower and higher arterial compliance, respectively). V ed and V es changes are rather small but higher for lower E max and higher V stiffness. Lower E max and higher V stiffness resulted in higher TCBF and CO during IABP assistance (~35 and 10%, respectively). The use of this hybrid model allows for testing real devices in realistic, stable, and repeatable circulatory conditions. Specifically, the presented results show that IABP performance is dependent, at least in part, on left ventricular filling, ejection characteristics, and arterial compliance. It is possible in this way to simulate patient-specific conditions and predict the IABP performance at different values of the circulatory or ventricular parameters. Further work is required to study the conditions for heart recovery modeling, baroreceptor controls, and physiological feedbacks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)902-911
Number of pages10
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


  • Comprehensive model
  • Computational model
  • E
  • Endocardial viability ratio
  • Hybrid model
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump
  • Variable elastance model
  • Ventricular energetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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