The continuous flow mechanical circulatory support HeartMate II™ (Thoratec Corporation, Inc. Pleasanton, USA) (HMII), generates an auditory signal (acoustic fingerprint) that can be registered by routine auscultation. A temporary or permanent change in sound indicates a change in pump function. Previous mock loop studies have shown that changes in acoustic fingerprint are due to changes in speed, so the aim of this study was to see if the acoustic fingerprint changed during an echocardiographic ramp test.
Four stable, event-free patients included in the SoundMate study performed an echocardiographic ramp test. The speed was increased stepwise by 400 rpm between 8 000 and 12 000 rpm, and the left ventricular end diastolic diameter, flow, power consumption and blood pressure were measured. Sounds from HMII were recorded using an iPhone™ (Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA, USA) with the stethoscope application iStethPro™ (Dr. Peter J Bentley, UK) and the frequency map analyzed using the Audacity™ program (Unicode, Ash, Chinen and Crook, USA). The acoustic fingerprint is divided into regions (R1: 1 000-6 500, R2: 8 500-14 000, R3: 15 000-21 000 Hz) and peaks (P1: 0-1 000, P2: 6 500-8 500, P4: 21 000-23 000 Hz) in order to facilitate calculations and clarify changes in frequency.
There were significant (p<005) changes in the acoustic fingerprint when increasing the pump speed between 8 000 and 12 000 rpm. In 2/4 patients there were no significant changes in P1, otherwise there were significant changes in all regions and peaks. During the ramp test the power increased in mean 7 W, flow 3,1 L/min and the blood pressure measured with Doppler increased by ~15 mmHg. The left ventricular size decreased with ~2 cm.
The acoustic fingerprint changes with pump speed. This implies that when using sound check for detection of pump dysfunction, a new baseline should be set after every adjustment of speed.
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 32, no 4S, S206- p.