Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a life-saving modality used in the management of cardiopulmonary failure that is refractory to conventional medical and surgical therapies. The major problems clinicians face are bleeding and clotting, which can occur simultaneously. To discern the impact of pulmonary injury and ECMO on the host’s haemostatic response, we developed an ovine model of smoke-induced acute lung injury (S-ALI) and ECMO. The aims of this study were to determine if the ECMO circuit itself altered haemostasis and if this was augmented in a host with pulmonary injury.
Twenty-seven South African meat merino/Border Leicester Cross ewes underwent instrumentation. Animals received either sham injury (n = 12) or S-ALI (n = 15). Control animal groups consisted of healthy controls (ventilation only for 24 h) (n = 4), ECMO controls (ECMO only for 24 h) (n = 8) and S-ALI controls (S-ALI but no ECMO for 24 h) (n = 7). The test group comprised S-ALI sheep placed on ECMO (S-ALI + ECMO for 24 h) (n = 8). Serial blood samples were taken for rotational thromboelastometry, platelet aggregometry and routine coagulation laboratory tests. Animals were continuously monitored for haemodynamic, fluid and electrolyte balances and temperature. Pressure-controlled intermittent mandatory ventilation was used, and mean arterial pressure was augmented by protocolised use of pressors, inotropes and balanced fluid resuscitation to maintain mean arterial pressure >65 mmHg.
Rotational thromboelastometry, platelet aggregometry and routine coagulation laboratory tests demonstrated that S-ALI and ECMO independently induced changes to platelet function, delayed clot formation and reduced clot firmness. This effect was augmented with the combination of S-ALI and ECMO, with evidence of increased collagen-induced platelet aggregation as well as changes in factor VIII (FVIII), factor XII and fibrinogen levels.
The introduction of an ECMO circuit itself increases collagen-induced platelet aggregation, decreases FVIII and von Willebrand factor, and induces a transient decrease in fibrinogen levels and function in the first 24 h. These changes to haemostasis are amplified when a host with a pre-existing pulmonary injury is placed on ECMO. Because patients are often on ECMO for extended periods, longer-duration studies are required to characterise ECMO-induced haemostatic changes over the long term. The utility of point-of-care tests for guiding haemostatic management during ECMO also warrants further exploration.
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- Evidence of altered haemostasis in an ovine model of venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support
Margaret R. Passmore
Yoke L. Fung
Samuel R. Foley
Sara D. Diab
Kimble R. Dunster
Michelle M. Spanevello
Charles I. McDonald
Natalie M. Pecheniuk
John F. Fraser
- BioMed Central
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