Twenty-four-hour heparin-free veno-right ventricular ECMO: an experimental study
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Platelets and coagulation factors were studied during 24-hour heparin-free veno-right ventricular extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in 6 healthy pigs. An endpoint attached and covalently bonded heparin-coated ECMO system was used in these experiments. The veno-right ventricular ECMO supplied the total lung function of the animals, and after 24 hours, all the animals were successfully weaned from ECMO. Lung function and central hemodynamics were not affected by the procedure. Because all the animals showed a significant reduction in plasma volume, the concentration of measured coagulation variables was corrected both for plasma volume changes and for hemodilution. The platelet count and the plasma-free hemoglobin level were not significantly altered by ECMO. Similarly, the prothrombin complex, antithrombin, thrombin-antithrombin complex, factor XII, and the urinary excretion of 2,3-dinor-thromboxane B2 were not significantly altered. Fibrinogen and fibrin monomer increased significantly, whereas von Willebrand factor was significantly decreased after ECMO. In summary, 24-hour heparin-free veno-right ventricular total extracorporeal lung assistance does not affect the platelets and the coagulation system significantly in healthy juvenile pigs.