Long-Term Venovenous Connection for Extracorporeal Carbon Dioxide Removal (ECCO2R)-Numerical Investigation of the Connection to the Common Iliac Veins

N.B. Steuer*, K. Hugenroth, T. Beck, J. Spillner, R. Kopp, S. Reinartz, T. Schmitz-Rode, U. Steinseifer, G. Wagner, J. Arens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Currently used cannulae for extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal (ECCO2R) are associated with complications such as thrombosis and distal limb ischemia, especially for long-term use. We hypothesize that the risk of these complications is reducible by attaching hemodynamically optimized grafts to the patient’s vessels. In this study, as a first step towards a long-term stable ECCO2R connection, we investigated the feasibility of a venovenous connection to the common iliac veins. To ensure its applicability, the drainage of reinfused blood (recirculation) and high wall shear stress (WSS) must be avoided.

Methods: A reference model was selected for computational fluid dynamics, on the basis of the analysis of imaging data. Initially, a sensitivity analysis regarding recirculation was conducted using as variables: blood flow, the distance of drainage and return to the iliocaval junction, as well as the diameter and position of the grafts. Subsequently, the connection was optimized regarding recirculation and the WSS was evaluated. We validated the simulations in a silicone model traversed by dyed fluid.

Results: The simulations were in good agreement with the validation measurements (mean deviation 1.64%). The recirculation ranged from 32.1 to 0%. The maximum WSS did not exceed 5.57 Pa. The position and diameter of the return graft show the highest influence on recirculation. A correlation was ascertained between recirculation and WSS. Overall, an inflow jet directed at a vessel wall entails not only high WSS, but also a flow separation and thereby an increased recirculation. Therefore, return grafts aligned to the vena cava are crucial.

Conclusion: In conclusion, a connection without recirculation could be feasible and therefore provides a promising option for a long-term ECCO2R connection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-380
Number of pages19
JournalCardiovascular engineering and technology
Issue number4
Early online dateMay 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


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