Normal and abnormal trans-oxygenator pressure gradients during cardiopulmonary bypass

Fisher, Anthony Richard; Baker, Mya; Buffin, Mike; Campbell, Patrick; Hansbro, Stephen; Kennington, Steven; Lilley, Angela; Whitehorne, Michael
January 2003
Perfusion;Jan2003, Vol. 18 Issue 1, p25
Academic Journal
A prospective study was conducted with the aims of 1) determining the normal trans-oxygenator pressure gradient characteristics for a range of oxygenators and 2) determining the characteristics, incidence and outcome of abnormally raised gradients. The trans-oxygenator pressure gradient was monitored in 3684 patients undergoing open-heart surgery in eight different hospitals. When the normal pressure gradient was measured during cardiopulmonary bypass in mmHg/L blood flow, a constant figure was obtained which was specific for each oxygenator. This gradient was abnormally raised in 16 cases (one in every 230 cases) and was raised to such an extent in three of these cases that an emergency oxygenator changeout was required (one in every 1228 cases). Among the 16 reported incidents, three different patterns of gradient changes occurred, suggesting the possibility that there were three different aetiologies. In nine of these incidents, the pressure gradient was normal immediately upon going on bypass, but rose rapidly to a plateau value, which then returned to the normal value within 40 minutes. In three cases, the pressure gradient was raised immediately upon going on bypass and then rapidly returned to the baseline. In one case, the pressure gradient was raised immediately upon going on bypass and stayed raised throughout the operation.


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