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Eur Respir J. 2009 Mar;33(3):551-8. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00123608. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

Extracorporeal pumpless interventional lung assist in clinical practice: determinants of efficacy.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine II, University Hospital of Regensburg, Franz-Josef-Strauss Allee 11, 93053 Regensburg, Germany.


Respiratory acidosis can become a serious problem during protective ventilation of severe lung failure. A pumpless arteriovenous interventional lung assist (iLA) for extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal has been used increasingly to control critical respiratory situations. The present study sought to evaluate the factors determining the efficacy of iLA and calculate its contribution to gas exchange. In a cohort of 96 patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, haemodynamic parameters, oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production as well as gas transfer through the iLA were analysed. The measurements demonstrated a significant dependency of blood flow via the iLA device on cannula size (mean+/-sd 1.59+/-0.52 L x min(-1) for 15 French (Fr), 1.94+/-0.35 L x min(-1) for 17 Fr, and 2.22 +/-0.45 L x min(-1) for 19 Fr) and on mean arterial pressure. Oxygen transfer capacity averaged 41.7+/-20.8 mL x min(-1), carbon dioxide removal was 148.0+/-63.4 mL x min(-1). Within two hours of iLA treatment, arterial oxygen partial pressure/inspired oxygen fraction ratio increased significantly and a fast improvement in arterial carbon dioxide partial pressure and pH was observed. Interventional lung assist eliminates approximately 50% of calculated total carbon dioxide production with rapid normalisation of respiratory acidosis. Despite limited contribution to oxygen transfer it may allow a more protective ventilation in severe respiratory failure.

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