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Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2015 Dec;63(8):653-62. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1549359. Epub 2015 May 6.

Comparison of the Avalon Dual-Lumen Cannula with Conventional Cannulation Technique for Venovenous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

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Practice of Cardiology, Dormagen, Germany.
Department III of Internal Medicine, Heartcenter of the University of Cologne, Germany.
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Cologne, Heartcenter, Cologne, Germany.



Comparison of two kinds of cannulation (double-lumen cannula [DLC, Avalon Elite Bicaval Dual Lumen Catheter] and conventional cannulation with two cannulas) for venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy in terms of effectiveness, usage complexity, and costs.


Retrospective case series of 17 patients who received venovenous ECMO therapy due to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) between January 2010 and March 2012. Nine patients were treated with the DLC and eight patients with conventional cannulation. We analyzed the outcome data, ECMO values, respirator settings, blood gas values, realized prone positioning, and costs, and compared both methods.


Both kinds of cannulation are efficient regarding oxygenation and decarboxylation. There is no significant difference in mortality, hospitalization time (intensive care unit [ICU] and hospital) and complications during ECMO therapy between both groups. Cannula implantation is much more complex in the DLC group and requires more experience in TEE (transesophageal echocardiography) diagnostics and cannulation technique. In addition, the costs for the Avalon (MAQUET Cardiopulmonary AG, Germany) cannula are significantly higher than for conventional cannulation. Furthermore, prone positioning could be easier achieved in the DLC group.


In summary, double-lumen cannulation allows sufficient gas exchange with more effort (material, technical, and physicians' experience) and higher costs but better mobilization possibilities (particularly prone position) and potential avoidance of deep sedation and mechanical ventilation. From the current point of view, the DLC should be reserved for special cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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