Left ventricular venting during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; the effects on cardiac performance in a porcine model of critical post-cardiotomy failure
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPerfusion. 2022. 10.1177/02676591221114956
Introduction Left ventricular distension is a major concern with postcardiotomy veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) supporting a critical heart failure after cardiac surgery. This porcine study evaluates the effects of left ventricular venting on cardiac function during ECMO-supported circulation and after weaning from ECMO. Methods Twenty anaesthetised open-chest pigs were put on cardiopulmonary bypass with aortic cross-clamping and suboptimal cardioplegic arrest for 40 min. After declamping and defibrillation, the animals were supported by VA-ECMO for 180 min either with or without additional left ventricular venting. Continuous haemodynamic evaluations were performed at baseline and at cardiac arrest, during VA-ECMO and for 120 min after weaning from circulatory support. Left ventricular perfusion and function were evaluated with microspheres, pressure-volume loops and epicardial echocardiography at baseline and after 1 and 2 h with unsupported circulation. Results In vented animals both mean aortic and left ventricular peak systolic pressure increased at the end of the ECMO-supported period compared to those not vented and remained increased also after weaning. Both at 60 min and 120 min after weaning from circulatory support, left ventricular stroke work and pressure-volume area were increased in vented compared to not vented animals. At 120 min left ventricular stroke volume was increased in vented compared to not vented animals, myocardial perfusion did not differ. The left ventricular mechanical efficiency, defined as the ratio between pressure volume area and myocardial perfusion, was increased (53.2 ± 5 vs 36.2 ± 2.1 J/mL/g, p = 0.011) in vented- compared to not vented hearts. Conclusion This experimental study demonstrate that left ventricular venting during post-cardiotomy veno-arterial ECMO for 3 h attenuates deterioration of left ventricular function and haemodynamics early after weaning from circulatory support.