Atrial Septostomy for Left Ventricular Unloading During Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Cardiogenic Shock Animal Model

M. Mlcek*, P. Meani, M. Cotza, M. Kowalewski, G.M. Raffa, E. Kuriscak, M. Popkova, M. Pilato, A. Arcadipane, M. Ranucci, R. Lorusso, J. Belohlavek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES The aim of this study was to quantify and understand the unloading effect of percutaneous balloon atrial septostomy (BAS) in acute cardiogenic shock (CS) treated with venoarterial (VA) extracorporeal membranous oxygenation (ECMO).BACKGROUND In CS treated with VA ECMO, increased left ventricular (LV) afterload is observed that commonly interferes with myocardial recovery or even promotes further LV deterioration. Several techniques for LV unloading exist, but the optimal strategy and the actual extent of such procedures have not been fully disclosed.METHODS In a porcine model (n 1/4 11; weight 56 kg [53-58 kg]), CS was induced by coronary artery balloon occlusion (57 minutes [53-64 minutes]). Then, a step-up VA ECMO protocol (40-80 mL/kg/min) was run before and after percutaneous BAS was performed. LV pressure-volume loops and multiple hemoglobin saturation data were evaluated. The Wilcoxon rank sum test was used to assess individual variable differences.RESULTS Immediately after BAS while on VA ECMO support, LV work decreased significantly: pressure-volume area, end-diastolic pressure, and stroke volume to-78% and end-systolic pressure to-86%, while superior vena cava and tissue oximetry did not change. During elevating VA ECMO support (40-80 mL/kg/min) with BAS vs without BAS, we observed 1) significantly less mechanical work increase (122% vs 172%); 2) no end-diastolic volume increase (100% vs 111%); and 3) a considerable increase in end-systolic pressure (134% vs 144%).CONCLUSIONS In acute CS supported by VA ECMO, atrial septostomy is an effective LV unloading tool. LV pressure is a key component of LV work load, so whenever LV work reduction is a priority, arterial pressure should carefully be titrated low while maintaining organ perfusion. (J Am Coll Cardiol Intv 2021;14:2698-2707) (c) 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier on behalf of the American College of Cardiology Foundation. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2698-2707
Number of pages10
JournalJacc-Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2021


  • animal model
  • atrial septostomy
  • cardiogenic shock
  • left ventricular unloading
  • venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation


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