Q: What does Pulsatility Index signifies on Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) screen?
Answer: It is an index of patient's hemodynamics and LVAD flow, or in other words it reflects the heart’s contractility and stretch, as well as the patient’s volume status. For example, if patient's volume status is low pulsatility index will fall and vice versa. It is also defined as cardiac output provided by the patient vs pump.
High PI = more ventricular filling and higher pulsatility by a patient
Low PI = less ventricular filling and lower pulsatility by a patient
Clinical significance: Significant changes in pulsatility index indicates that an event may have occurred, like an obstruction of the inflow cannula, hypovolemia, arrhythmia, increased pulmonary artery pressure or right heart failure.