Evaluation of blood components exposed to coated arterial filters in extracorporeal circuits

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Background: Biocompatible surfaces play an important role in the inflammatory response during cardiopulmonary bypass (CBP), with the arterial filter contributing a large surface area of the circuit. Different filter-coating materials designed to improve blood-filter biocompatibility are currently used in CPB circuits. This study evaluates eight biocompatible coatings used for arterial filters and their effects on blood components during circulation. Methods: Arterial filters were randomly assigned in eight independent heparin-bonded tubing loops and perfused by a single swine (n=8). Arterial blood was routed simultaneously, but separately, into each circuit and circulated for 30 minutes at 37°C. Blood samples were drawn for CBC, ACT, and TAT III measurements at baseline, post-heparinization and post-circulation. At study completion, filters were imaged using multiphoton microscopy. Results: RBC, platelet, and WBC counts, and TAT III complex were all decreased after 30 minutes of circulation; however, WBC count was the only parameter that showed statistically significant differences between the filters. Circulating WBC reduction ranged from 6% (Carmeda and Trillium) to 41% (Terumo-X-coating) with corresponding microscopic confirmation of increased WBC entrapment. Conclusion: All eight filter coatings altered the blood components to varying degrees. Selection of the most effective filter, in conjunction with a heparin-bonded circuit for CPB, may decrease the intraoperative foreign-surface activation of blood cells.

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