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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54954. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054954. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Determinants of oxygen and carbon dioxide transfer during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in an experimental model of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome.

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Research and Education Institute, Hospital Sírio-Libanês, São Paulo, Brazil.


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has gained renewed interest in the treatment of respiratory failure since the advent of the modern polymethylpentene membranes. Limited information exists, however, on the performance of these membranes in terms of gas transfers during multiple organ failure (MOF). We investigated determinants of oxygen and carbon dioxide transfer as well as biochemical alterations after the circulation of blood through the circuit in a pig model under ECMO support before and after induction of MOF. A predefined sequence of blood and sweep flows was tested before and after the induction of MOF with fecal peritonitis and saline lavage lung injury. In the multivariate analysis, oxygen transfer had a positive association with blood flow (slope = 66, P<0.001) and a negative association with pre-membrane PaCO(2) (slope = -0.96, P = 0.001) and SatO(2) (slope = -1.7, P<0.001). Carbon dioxide transfer had a positive association with blood flow (slope = 17, P<0.001), gas flow (slope = 33, P<0.001), pre-membrane PaCO(2) (slope = 1.2, P<0.001) and a negative association with the hemoglobin (slope = -3.478, P = 0.042). We found an increase in pH in the baseline from 7.50[7.46,7.54] to 7.60[7.55,7.65] (P<0.001), and during the MOF from 7.19[6.92,7.32] to 7.41[7.13,7.5] (P<0.001). Likewise, the PCO(2) fell in the baseline from 35 [32,39] to 25 [22,27] mmHg (P<0.001), and during the MOF from 59 [47,91] to 34 [28,45] mmHg (P<0.001). In conclusion, both oxygen and carbon dioxide transfers were significantly determined by blood flow. Oxygen transfer was modulated by the pre-membrane SatO(2) and CO(2), while carbon dioxide transfer was affected by the gas flow, pre-membrane CO(2) and hemoglobin.

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