Cardiorespiratory effects of venous lipid micro embolization in an experimental model of mediastinal shed blood reinfusion.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Retransfusion of the patient's own blood during surgery is used to reduce the need for allogenic blood transfusion. It has however been found that this blood contains lipid particles, which form emboli in different organs if the blood is retransfused on the arterial side. In this study, we tested whether retransfusion of blood containing lipid micro-particles on the venous side in a porcine model will give hemodynamic effects. METHODS: Seven adult pigs were used. A shed blood surrogate containing 400 ml diluted blood and 5 ml radioactive triolein was produced to generate a lipid embolic load. The shed blood surrogate was rapidly (<2 minutes) retransfused from a transfusion bag to the right atrium under general anesthesia. The animals' arterial, pulmonary, right and left atrial pressure were monitored, together with cardiac output and deadspace. At the end of the experiment, an increase in cardiac output and pulmonary pressure was pharmacologically induced to try to flush out lipid particles from the lungs. RESULTS: A more than 30-fold increase in pulmonary vascular resistance was observed, with subsequent increase in pulmonary artery pressure, and decrease in cardiac output and arterial pressure. This response was transient, but was followed by a smaller, persistent increase in pulmonary vascular resistance. Only a small portion of the infused triolein passed the lungs, and only a small fraction could be recirculated by increasing cardiac output and pulmonary pressure. CONCLUSION: Infusion of blood containing lipid micro-emboli on the venous side leads to acute, severe hemodynamic responses that can be life threatening. Lipid particles will be trapped in the lungs, leading to persistent effects on the pulmonary vascular resistance.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery
  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Thoracic Surgery (013230027), Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine Unit (013242320), Clinical Physiology (013242300), Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (013230022), Department of Psychology (012010000)

Related research output

Atli Eyjolfsson, 2011, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Clinical Sciences, Lund University. 132 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

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