The Aachen miniaturized heart-lung machine - First results in a small animal model

Heike Schnoering*, Jutta Arens, Joerg S. Sachweh, Melanie Veerman, Rene Tolba, Thomas Schmitz-Rode, Ulrich Steinseifer, Jaime F. Vazquez-Jimenez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Congenital heart surgery most often incorporates extracorporeal circulation. Due to foreign surface contact and the administration of foreign blood in many children, inflammatory response and hemolysis are important matters of debate. This is particularly an issue in premature and low birth-weight newborns. Taking these considerations into account, the Aachen miniaturized heart-lung machine (MiniHLM) with a total static priming volume of 102 mL (including tubing) was developed and tested in a small animal model. Fourteen female Chinchilla Bastard rabbits were operated on using two different kinds of circuits. In eight animals, a conventional HLM with Dideco Kids oxygenator and Stöckert roller pump (Sorin group, Milan, Italy) was used, and the Aachen MiniHLM was employed in six animals. Outcome parameters were hemolysis and blood gas analysis including lactate. The rabbits were anesthetized, and a standard median sternotomy was performed. The ascending aorta and the right atrium were cannulated. After initiating cardiopulmonary bypass, the aorta was cross-clamped, and cardiac arrest was induced by blood cardioplegia. Blood samples for hemolysis and blood gas analysis were drawn before, during, and after cardiopulmonary bypass. After 1 h aortic clamp time, all animals were weaned from cardiopulmonary bypass. Blood gas analysis revealed adequate oxygenation and perfusion during cardiopulmonary bypass, irrespective of the employed perfusion system. The use of the Aachen MiniHLM resulted in a statistically significant reduced decrease in fibrinogen during cardiopulmonary bypass. A trend revealing a reduced increase in free hemoglobin during bypass in the MiniHLM group could also be observed. This newly developed Aachen MiniHLM with low priming volume, reduced hemolysis, and excellent gas transfer (O 2 and CO 2) may reduce circuit-induced complications during heart surgery in neonates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-940
Number of pages6
JournalArtificial organs
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal experimentation
  • Cardiopulmonary bypass
  • Heart-lung machine
  • Hemolysis
  • Pediatrics


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