To determine the effect of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) pumping on sympathetic tone, renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) was detected in acute animal experiments. Our TH-7B pneumatically driven, sac-type ventricular assist device was used in 7 adult mongrel dogs. RSNA was detected by the use of bipolar electrodes attached to the left renal sympathetic nerve. RSNA was amplified and integrated by use of an R-C integrator circuit. The area of the integrated nerve discharge per unit time was calculated in the computer system and expressed as RSNA per unit time. During LVAD pumping, RSNA decreased with increase in blood pressure, with an increase in pulmonary artery flow, and with a decrease in left atrial pressure. These data suggest that LVAD has an effect on the sympathetic nervous system which is mediated by the aortic and cardiopulmonary baroreflex system.