Background. Previous clinical and experimental investigations have produced inconsistent data describing the effects of veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA ECMO) on intrinsic left ventricular (LV) function. We report an animal model that allows investigation of the effects of VA ECMO on the mechanics of the LV using two load-insensitive indices: end-systolic pressure-minor axis dimension relationship (ESPDR) and preload recruitable dimensional stroke work (PRDSW). Methods. Eight piglets (5 to 11 kg) were anesthetized, instrumented, and placed on VA ECMO. Throughout the experiment, systemic and left atrial partial pressure of oxygen were maintained between 100 to 200 mm Hg. At ECMO flow rate of 50% of baseline cardiac output, data were collected prior to ECMO, at 4 and 6 hours during ECMO, and after weaning from ECMO. Data measured or calculated for each time point included heart rate, LV pressures and minor axis dimensions at different preloads, first derivative of LV pressure with respect to time, velocity of circumferential fiber length shortening (VCF), LV shortening fraction (LVSF), ESPDR, and PRDSW. Results. A significant (p < 0.05) decrease in LVSF and VCF was seen at 4 and 6 hours during ECMO when compared to baseline, but the ESPDR and PRDSW did not change during ECMO. Conclusions. VA ECMO alone changes some of the load-dependent parameters of contractility, but intrinsic function of the heart is not significantly affected as measured by load-insensitive indices of LV performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine