THE circulation of the blood was first described in detail by William Harvey. Harvey’s famous work, De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis, was published in 1628. In it, he described the action of the heart and the consequent movement of the blood around the body in a circuit, thereby challenging Galen’s accepted view of the liver as the origin of venous blood. Harvey had noticed that tying the veins of a fish would lead to an empty heart. However, when the arteries were tied, the heart would swell up. These simple observations still have profound implications in the setting of temporary mechanical circulatory support techniques, such as venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation that create additional complexities unknown to the native circulation described by Harvey. In this setting, effective integration of native circulation with temporary mechanical circulatory support to...

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