Original Article

Effects of pulsatile minimal invasive extracorporeal circulation on fibrinolysis and organ protection in adult cardiac surgery—a prospective randomized trial

Angelika Graßler, Robert Bauernschmitt, Irene Guthoff, Andreas Kunert, Markus Hoenicka, Günter Albrecht, Andreas Liebold


Background: Minimal invasive extracorporeal circulation (MiECC) reduces the impact of cardiopulmonary bypass during cardiac surgery on inflammation and hemostasis. Pulsatile perfusion may enhance organ perfusion and help to prevent renal and neuronal damage. The present study investigated the impact of pulsatile MiECC in low-risk coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) patients.
Methods: CABG patients were prospectively randomized for non-pulsatile (np: n=19) and pulsatile (p: n=21) MiECC. Blood and urine samples were collected at several time points until 72 h post-operative and analyzed for biochemical markers of fibrinolytic capacity, renal damage, and neuronal damage.
Results: Although intraoperative tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) levels tended to be higher in the p group, none of the fibrinolysis markers including plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) and the PAI-1/tPA ratio were significantly affected by pulsation. Hemolysis and markers of renal and neuronal damage were comparable between groups. Intraoperative urinary excretion [np: 400 mL (355 to 680) vs. p: 530 mL (360 to 900)] and cumulative 24 h volume intake [np: 7,090 mL (5,492 to 7,544) vs. p: 7,155 mL (6,682 to 8,710)] were increased by pulsation whereas blood losses up to 12 h post-operative [np: 365 mL (270 to 515) vs. p: 310 mL (225 to 470)] and up to 24 h post-operative [np: 760 mL (555 to 870) vs. p: 520 mL (460 to 670)] were attenuated.
Conclusions: The present study did not find evidence for a beneficial effect of pulsation on markers of fibrinolysis, renal damage, and neuronal damage. However, pulsatile perfusion increased intraoperative urinary secretion and reduced post-operative blood losses.

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