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ASAIO J. 2013 Mar-Apr;59(2):157-61. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0b013e31827db6f3.

Avalon© bicaval dual-lumen cannula for venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: survey of cannula use in France.

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Medical Intensive Care, Hôpital Pontchaillou, Université de Rennes 1, Rennes, France.


We conducted an epidemiologic survey in France on the use of bicaval dual-lumen cannulas for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Every service that used the Avalon cannula was contacted. Practitioners answered questions concerning its practical usage and complications that were attributable to its usage. We report data for 52 instances of cannula usage. The primary indication was acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in 77% of cases. Of all of the patients who required cannulas, 46% died. The maximum flow was 2,175 ± 556 ml/minute for 20-Fr.-diameter cannulas, 3,207 ± 653 ml/minute for 23 Fr., 3,963 ± 729 ml/minute for 27 Fr., and 5,490 ± 984 ml/minute for 31 Fr. Surgeons placed the cannulas in 52% of cases, intensivists placed the cannulas in 23% of cases, and multidisciplinary teams placed the cannulas in 25% of cases. The mean insertion time was 26 ± 13 minutes, and insertion was performed under transesophageal electrocardiography (TEE) (67%), transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) (25%), fluoroscopy (4%), or no guidance (4%). The main complication was migration into the right ventricle. Problems with hemolysis were described in 21% of cases. No case of cannula thrombosis was found. No case of infection was reported. Bleeding was noted in 17% of cases. The mean time of use was 8 ± 7 days. Modifications to the supportive care system were required in 15% of cases. Monitoring was performed by chest x-rays (90%), TTE (42%), and TEE (46%). Five extubations occurred during the support period. Nine patients were mobilized. The use of this cannula yielded satisfactory results. We suggest placing these cannulas using TTE or TEE and recommend the use of large-caliber cannulas in hypoxemic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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