Calculating mixed venous saturation during veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

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Introduction:Recirculation (R), the shunting of arterial blood back into to the venous lumen, commonly occurs during veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) and renders the monitoring of the venous line oxygen saturation no longer reflective of patient mixed venous oxygen saturation (SvO2). Previously, we failed to prove the hypothesis that, once R is known, it is possible to calculate the SVO2 of a patient on VV-ECMO. We hypothesize that we can calculate SvO2 during VV-ECMO if we account for and add an additional correction factor to our model for dissolved oxygen content. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to derive a more accurate model that will allow clinicians to determine SvO2 during VV-ECMO when ultrasound dilution is being used to quantify R. Methods: Using an extracorporeal circuit primed with fresh porcine blood, two stocks of blood were produced; (1) arterial blood (AB), and (2) venous blood (VB). To mimic recirculation, the AB and VB were mixed together in precise ratios using syringes and a stopcock manifold. Six paired stock AB/VB sets were prepared. Two sets were mixed at 20% R increments and 4 sets were mixed at 10% R increments. The partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) and oxygen (O2) saturation of the stock blood and resultant mixed blood was determined. The original model was modified by modeling the residual errors with linear regression.Results:When using the original model, as the partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2) of the stock AB increased, the calculated SvO2 was higher than actual, especially at higher R levels. An iteration of the original model incorporating the PaO2 level (low, medium, high) and R was derived to fit the data. Conclusions: The original model using R and circuit saturations for the calculation of SvO2 in VV-ECMO patients is an oversimplification that fails to consider the influence of the high pO2 of arterial blood during therapy. In the future, further improvements in this model will allow clinicians accurately to calculate SvO2 in conjunction with recirculation measurements.

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