Impact of tubing length on hemodynamics in a simulated neonatal extracorporeal life support circuit

Feng Qiu, Mehmet C Uluer, Allen Kunselman, J Brian Clark, John L Myers, Akif Undar
Artificial Organs 2010, 34 (11): 1003-9
During extracorporeal life support (ECLS), a large portion of the hemodynamic energy is lost to various components of the circuit. Minimization of this loss in the circuit leads to better vital organ perfusion and decreases the risk of systemic inflammation. In this study, we evaluated the hemodynamic properties of differing lengths of tubing in a simulated neonatal ECLS circuit. The neonatal ECLS circuit used in this study included a Capiox Baby RX05 oxygenator (Terumo Corporation, Tokyo, Japan), a Rotaflow centrifugal pump (MAQUET Cardiopulmonary AG, Hirrlingen, Germany), and a heater and cooler unit. An 8Fr Biomedicus arterial and a 10Fr Biomedicus venous cannula were connected to the pseudopatient. One-fourth inch tubing was used for both the arterial and the venous line. A Hoffman clamp was located upstream from the pseudopatient to maintain a certain patient pressure. Three pressure transducers were placed at different sites: postoxygenator, prearterial cannula, and postarterial cannula. The system was primed with Lactated Ringer's solution; human blood was then added to maintain a hematocrit of 40%. The volume of the pseudopatient was 500mL. We hemodynamically evaluated three circuits with different lengths of tubing: 6, 4, and 2 feet (182.88, 121.92, and 60.96 cm, respectively) for both arterial and venous lines; the priming volumes including all of the components of the circuits were 195, 155, and 115mL, respectively. In each circuit, we measured the pressure drops of the arterial tubing and the arterial cannula, as well as the flow rates at different rpm (1750-3000, 250 intervals) under three patient pressures (40, 60, and 80mm Hg). All the experiments were conducted at 37°C. The pressure drop across the arterial cannula is much larger than that of arterial tubing in all set-ups, especially under high flow rates. Upon cutting the tubing from 6 to 2 feet, the pressure drop of the arterial tubing decreased by half, while the pressure drop of the arterial cannula increased due to the slightly higher flow rates. These results suggest that compared to the arterial tubing, the arterial cannula has a larger impact on the hemodynamics of the circuit. There is a little influence of tubing length on the circuit flow rate.

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