Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation--how safe is it? Evaluation with a new experimental model

Bansi Koul, Per Wollmer, H Willen, J Kugelberg, Stig Steen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study was undertaken to find out if about 25% right cardiac output is sufficient for preservation of lung function during prolonged periods of venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Six healthy pigs weighing 57 kg were subjected to 18-hour venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. During this period 1200 ml/min venous blood was delivered to the lungs through the pulmonary artery with the help of a separate roller pump and with use of the animal's own right ventricle to generate the pulse. Animals were observed for 6 hours after weaning from the venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. At the sixth hour after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, arterial oxygen tension, venous oxygen tension, lung compliance, and cardiac output had decreased significantly. Pulmonary vascular resistance and pulmonary clearance of technetium 99m-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid increased significantly also. The systemic arterial and venous carbon dioxide tensions, pH, and the base excess remained unchanged, as did the blood pressure and the systemic vascular resistance. Histopathology of the lung specimens revealed focal alveolar wall thickening and alveolar capillary congestion. The major portion of the pulmonary parenchyma looked normal. Alterations in pulmonary parameters cited were, to a major extent, explained on the basis of the experimental protocol followed and were believed to be reversible. This study suggests that about 25% of the systemic cardiac output should be diverted into the pulmonary artery for prevention of irreversible physiologic and histopathologic changes in the lungs during 18-hour normothermic venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in healthy juvenile pigs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-584
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Surgery
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation--how safe is it? Evaluation with a new experimental model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this