A novel phonetic approach to continuous flow left ventricular assist device auscultation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The dominant sound generated by continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (cf-LVADs) has generically been referred to as a “hum”. This term, however, implies that despite distinct engineering designs, all cf-LVADs generate the same quality of sound. Furthermore, no structured method for auscultation of cf-LVADs exists. We hereby report a novel and simple phonetic approach to device auscultation, the aims of which are to improve recognition, understanding, and teaching of sound produced by normally functioning cf-LVADs. We sought to evaluate whether clinically relevant pump or person related events can produce changes in the expected audio fingerprint of a particular cf-LVAD, and whether these changes in sound can be identified by auscultation and translated phonetically. Methods: Sound recordings were made on 7 people implanted with one of 3 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved cf-LVADs. Of the 7, 3 were considered to have normal device function and stable condition. The remaining 4 people had a clinically relevant pump or person related event. Recordings were made with a stethoscope attachment that allows digital recording of sound and provides a real time phonocardiogram. Results: The main findings were the following: 1.) each cf-LVAD generates a unique audio fingerprint 2.) the audio fingerprint can be phonetically translated in a simple manner. 3.) pump or patient related events result in changes in device sound, that can be appreciated phonetically. Conclusions: Phonetics offer a novel and easily reproducible method for evaluation and teaching normal cf-LVAD sounds by auscultation. Additionally, clinically relevant pump or person related events can produce changes in the expected audio fingerprint of a particular cf-LVAD. These changes in sound can be identified by auscultation and translated phonetically. Auscultation is an important component of the physical examination of people supported with cf-LVADs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-783
Number of pages4
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Volume50
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Auscultation
  • Continuous Flow
  • LVAD
  • Phonetics
  • Physical exam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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