Vascular Occlusion Test to Dynamically Assess Microcirculation During Normothermic Pulsatile Cardiopulmonary Bypass

Nousjka P. A. Vranken*, Yuri M. Ganushchak, Henriette M. Willigers, Jos G. Maessen, Patrick W. Weerwind

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective: To evaluate parameters of the vascular occlusion test (VOT) before, during, and after pulsatile cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Design: Prospective, observational study. Setting: Single-center university hospital. Participants: Adult patients undergoing elective cardiac surgery with pulsatile CPB. Interventions: An oximeter sensor and adult-sized pneumatic tourniquet were positioned at the right forearm. A VOT with a predefined ischemic time of 3 minutes was performed before, during, and after CPB. Changes in tissue oxygen saturation were recorded. Measurements and Main Results: Thirty-four patients who underwent cardiac surgery were enrolled in the study. The lowest tissue oxygen saturation measured during the ischemic challenge differed among all 3 stages of surgery, with median values of 62.9% before, 57.5% during, and 59.3% after perfusion (p <0.05). Both occlusion (p <0.001) and reperfusion (p <0.05) slopes were steeper after bypass compared with before initiating bypass, whereas the reperfusion time remained constant among the different time points. Conclusions: The microcirculatory function as demonstrated by changes in VOT parameters was enhanced during and after normothermic pulsatile CPB. Clinical relevance, however, needs to be further explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-984
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • microcirculation
  • vascular occlusion test
  • ischemic challenge
  • pulsatile cardiopulmonary bypass

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