An investigational study of minimum rotational pump speed to avoid retrograde flow in three centrifugal blood pumps in a pediatric extracorporeal life support model


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Abstract

During extracorporeal life support with centrifugal blood pumps, retrograde pump flow may occur when the pump revolutions decrease below a critical value determined by the circuit resistance and the characteristics of the pump. We created a laboratory model to evaluate the occurrence of retrograde flow in each of three centrifugal blood pumps: the Rotaflow, the CentriMag, and the Bio-Medicus BP-50. At simulated patient pressures of 60, 80, and 100 mmHg, each pump was evaluated at speeds from 1000 to 2200 rpm and flow rates were measured. Retrograde flow occurred at low revolution speeds in all three centrifugal pumps. The Bio-Medicus pump was the least likely to demonstrate retrograde flow at low speeds, followed by the Rotaflow pump. The CentriMag pump showed the earliest transition to retrograde flow, as well as the highest degree of retrograde flow. At every pump speed evaluated, the Bio-Medicus pump delivered the highest antegrade flow and the CentriMag pump delivered the least.

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