ABSTRACT: Miniaturizing cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) circuits to reduce hemodilution and allogenic blood product administration is common in cardiac surgery. One major concern associated with smaller CPB circuits is a possible increase in gaseous microemboli (GME) sent to the cerebral vasculature, which is exacerbated by vacuum-assisted venous drainage (VAVD). The use of VAVD has increased with smaller venous line diameter and venous cannulae. This study examines the effects of CPB initiation with an unprimed venous line and VAVD in a pediatric circuit. A CPB circuit was set up with reservoir, oxygenator, and arterial filter with a bag reservoir to simulate the patient. All trials were done in vitro, and GME were measured using the EDAC Quantifier by Luna Innovations. EDAC sensors were placed proximal and distal to the oxygenator and distal to the arterial filter. Group 1 was the control group with no VAVD and a primed venous line. Groups 2, 3, and 4 used an unprimed venous line and VAVD of -40, -20, and -10 mmHg, respectively. Total microemboli counts and total embolic load in micrometers were measured at each sensor. Groups 2 (12,379.00 +/- 3180.37) and 3 (8296.67 +/- 2818.76) had significantly more microemboli than group 1 (923.33 +/- 796.08, p < .05) at the pre-oxygenator sensor. Group 2 (57.33 +/- 25.01, p < .05) had significantly more microemboli than group 1 (5.33 +/- 3.21) at the post-oxygenator sensor. No other findings were statistically significant. The results suggest that, if an oxygenator and arterial filter with sufficient air handling capabilities are used, this method to reduce prime volume may not increase GME in the arterial line distal to the arterial filter.
The Journal of extra-corporeal technology 09/2009; 41(3):166-71.