Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a pivotal bridge to recovery for cardiopulmonary failure in children. Besides its life-saving quality, it is often associated with severe system-related complications, such as hemolysis, inflammation, and thromboembolism. Novel oxygenator and pump systems may reduce such ECMO-related complications. The ExMeTrA oxygenator is a newly designed pediatric oxygenator with an integrated pulsatile pump minimizing the priming volume and reducing the surface area of blood contact. The aim of our study was to investigate the feasibility and safety of this new ExMeTrA (expansion mediated transport and accumulation) oxygenator in an animal model. During 6 h of extracorporeal circulation (ECC) in pigs, parameters of the hemostatic system including coagulation, platelets and complement activation, and flow rates were investigated. A nonsignificant trend in C3 consumption, thrombin-antithrombin-III (TAT) complex formation and a slight trend in hemolysis were detected. During the ECC, the blood flow was constantly at 500 ml/min using only flexible silicone tubes inside the oxygenator as pulsatile pump. Our data clearly indicate that the hemostatic markers were only slightly influenced by the ExMeTrA oxygenator. Additionally, the oxygenator showed a constant quality of blood flow. Therefore, this novel pediatric oxygenator shows the potential to be used in pediatric and neonatal support with ECMO.
- extra corporeal membrane oxygenation
- in vivo experiment
- pediatric patients
- pulsatile flow