JOURNAL ARTICLE

In vivo evaluation of tissue microflow under combined therapy with extracorporeal life support and intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation

C Jung, A Lauten, C Roediger, M Fritzenwanger, J Schumm, H R Figulla, M Ferrari
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care 2009, 37 (5): 833-5
19775051
Treatment with percutaneous extracorporeal mechanical assist devices provides the ultimate therapeutic option to improve the macrocirculation in patients suffering from refractory cardiac arrest, severe cardiogenic shock or during high-risk interventions. However, the flow in the smallest vessels in these critical periods is poorly understood but prognostically of high importance. Using sidestream darkfield intravitalmicroscopy, we visualised the sublingual microflow in a patient suffering from severe cardiogenic shock supported by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and intra-aortic balloon pump. Our results show that intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation applied in addition to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation further improves the microflow. This in vivo finding supports pilot studies favouring the application of devices supporting cardiac output (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) together with devices aimed at pulsatility (intra-aortic balloon pump).

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