We developed an optical detector of thrombus formed on the pivot bearing of an extracorporeal centrifugal blood pump (MERA HCF-MP23; Senko Medical Instrument Mfg. Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan) which is frequently used for long-term extracorporeal circulation support to bridge to an implantable artificial heart, which in turn is used for bridge to heart transplantation in Japan. In this study, we investigated the quantitative performance of the thrombus formation in acute animal experiments. A total of three experiments of extracorporeal left ventricular assist using Japanese specific pathogen-free pigs were conducted. The optical fibers were set in the pump driver unit. The incident light at nearinfrared wavelength aiming at the pivot bearing and the resulting scattered light were guided to respective fibers. The detected signal was analyzed to obtain thrombus formation level (TFL) calculated by a specially developed software. When the increase in TFL was confirmed, the pump was exchanged and the extracorporeal circulation was restarted. The number of pump exchanges were four times at each experiment so a total of twelve pumps were evaluated. 3-dimentional data surrounding the pivot bearing and the adhered thrombus was captured by a 3-dimantional surface measurement system to calculate the thrombus surface area (TSA) formed on the pivot bearing. As a result, the correlation coefficient between TFL and TSA was 0.878. The accuracy of TSA estimated by the optical detector was 3.6±2.3 mm<sup>2</sup>. This was small enough to not have the pump exchanged in clinical judgement. The developed detector would be useful for optimal anti-coagulation management.