Can minimized cardiopulmonary bypass systems be safer?

Y. M. Ganushchak*, E. E. Severdija, A. P. Simons, L. van Garsse, P. W. Weerwind

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Web of Science)


Although a growing body of evidence indicates superiority of minimized cardiopulmonary bypass (mCPB) systems over conventional CPB systems, limited venous return can result in severe fluctuations of venous line pressure which can result in gaseous emboli. In this study, we investigated the influence of sub-atmospheric pressures and volume buffer capacity added to the venous line on the generation of gaseous emboli in the mCPB circuit. Two different mCPB systems (MEC - Maquet, n=7 and ECC.O - Sorin, n=8) and a conventional closed cardiopulmonary bypass (cCPB) system (n=12) were clinically evaluated. In the search for a way to increase volume buffer capacity of mCPB systems, we additionally evaluated the 'Better Bladder' (BB) in a mock circulation by simulating, repeatedly, decreased venous return while measuring pressure and gaseous embolic activity. Arterial gaseous emboli activity during clinical perfusion with a cCPB system was the lowest in comparison to the mCPB systems (312 +/- 465 versus 311 +/- 421 with MEC and 1,966 +/- 1,782 with ECC.O, counts per 10 minute time interval, respectively; p=0.03). The average volume per bubble in the arterial line was the highest in cases with cCPB (12.5 +/- 8.3 nL versus 8.0 +/- 4.2 nL with MEC and 4.6 +/- 4.8 nL with ECC.O; p=0.04 for both). Significant cross-correlation was obtained at various time offsets from 0 to +35 s between sub-atmospheric pressure in the venous line and gaseous emboli activity in both the venous and arterial lines. The in vitro data showed that incorporation of the BB dampens fluctuations of venous line pressure by approximately 30% and decreases gaseous emboli by up to 85%. In conclusion, fluctuations of sub-atmospheric venous line pressure during kinetic-assisted drainage are related to gaseous emboli. Volume buffer capacity added to the venous line can effectively dampen pressure fluctuations resulting from abrupt changes in venous return and, therefore, can help to increase the safety of minimized cardiopulmonary bypass by reducing gaseous microemboli formation resulting from degassing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-182
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • minimizing CPB
  • gaseous emboli
  • volume buffer capacity
  • Better Bladder
  • venous line pressure

Cite this