Pumpless arteriovenous extracorporeal lung assist: what is its role?

Grubitzsch, H.; Beholz, S.; Wollert, H-G.; Eckel, L.
June 2000
Perfusion;Jun2000, Vol. 15 Issue 3, p237
Academic Journal
Extracorporeal lung assist (ECLA) is an established treatment of severe pulmonary failure. Since extracorporeal perfusion is applied in a long-term fashion in this setting, the negative impact on blood compounds is of tremendous importance. Pumpless arteriovenous ECLA (av-ECLA) is an alternatively introduced technique that focuses on reduced blood traumatization. However, due to determining technical and physiological aspects, its clinical application is limited to a highly selected group of patients. Membrane oxygenators with minimal pressure gradients, as well as stable patients' haemodynamics providing a sufficient cardiac output, are the most important prerequisites. With respect to recent reports, characteristic features of av-ECLA, with special emphasis on its physiological background, are reviewed. Accordingly, reasonable indications for its beneficial use are discussed. It is concluded that av-ECLA is a feasible technique when its limitations are accepted. For adequate clinical use, more data concerning indications, as well as time- and technique-related directions are required.


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