Effect of the Pulsatile Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation on Hemodynamic Energy and Systemic Microcirculation in a Piglet Model of Acute Cardiac Failure

Hideshi Itoh, Shingo Ichiba, Yoshihito Ujike, Takuma Douguchi, Hideaki Obata, Syuji Inamori, Tatsuo Iwasaki, Shingo Kasahara, Shunji Sano, Akif Ündar

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18 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to compare the effects of pulsatile and nonpulsatile extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) on hemodynamic energy and systemic microcirculation in an acute cardiac failure model in piglets. Fourteen piglets with a mean body weight of 6.08±0.86kg were divided into pulsatile (N=7) and nonpulsatile (N=7) ECMO groups. The experimental ECMO circuit consisted of a centrifugal pump, a membrane oxygenator, and a pneumatic pulsatile flow generator system developed in-house. Nonpulsatile ECMO was initiated at a flow rate of 140mL/kg/min for the first 30min with normal heart beating, with rectal temperature maintained at 36°C. Ventricular fibrillation was then induced with a 3.5-V alternating current to generate a cardiac dysfunction model. Using this model, we collected the data on pulsatile and nonpulsatile groups. The piglets were weaned off ECMO at the end of the experiment (180min after ECMO was initiated). The animals did not receive blood transfusions, inotropic drugs, or vasoactive drugs. Blood samples were collected to measure hemoglobin, methemoglobin, blood gases, electrolytes, and lactic acid levels. Hemodynamic energy was calculated using the Shepard's energy equivalent pressure. Near-infrared spectroscopy was used to monitor brain and kidney perfusion. The pulsatile ECMO group had a higher atrial pressure (systolic and mean), and significantly higher regional saturation at the brain level, than the nonpulsatile group (for both, P<0.05). Additionally, the pulsatile ECMO group had higher methemoglobin levels within the normal range than the nonpulsatile group. Our study demonstrated that pulsatile ECMO produces significantly higher hemodynamic energy and improves systemic microcirculation, compared with nonpulsatile ECMO in acute cardiac failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-26
Number of pages8
JournalArtificial organs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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