Wave energy patterns of counterpulsation: A novel approach with wave intensity analysis

Pong Jeu Lu*, Chi Fu Jeffrey Yang, Meng Yu Wu, Chun Hao Hung, Ming Yao Chan, Tzu Cheng Hsu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: In counterpulsation, diastolic augmentation increases coronary blood flow and systolic unloading reduces left ventricular afterload. We present a new approach with wave intensity analysis to revisit and explain counterpulsation principles. Methods: In an acute porcine model, a standard intra-aortic balloon pump was placed in descending aorta in 4 pigs. We measured pressure and velocity with probes in left anterior descending artery and aorta during and without intra-aortic balloon pump assistance. Wave intensities of aortic and left coronary waves were derived from pressure and flow measurements with synchronization correction. Results: We identified predominating waves in counterpulsation. In the aorta, during diastolic augmentation, intra-aortic balloon inflation generated a backward compression wave, with a "pushing" effect toward the aortic root that translated to a forward compression wave into coronary circulation. During systolic unloading, intra-aortic balloon pump deflation generated a backward expansion wave that "sucked" blood from left coronary bed into the aorta. While this backward expansion wave translated to reduced left ventricular afterload, the "sucking" effect resulted in left coronary blood steal, as demonstrated by a forward expansion wave in left anterior descending coronary flow. The waves were sensitive to inflation and deflation timing, with just 25 ms delay from standard deflation timing leading to weaker forward expansion wave and less coronary regurgitation. Conclusions: Intra-aortic balloon pumps generate backward-traveling waves that predominantly drive aortic and coronary blood flow during counterpulsation. Wave intensity analysis of arterial circulations may provide a mechanism to explain diastolic augmentation and systolic unloading of intra-aortic balloon pump counterpulsation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1205-1213
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 11 2011
Externally publishedYes


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