Skip to main content

Volume 2 Supplement 1


0671. Extended extracorporeal lung support in a porcine acute lung injury model. Feasibility and preliminary data


During the last years there has been a renewed interest in using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to treat severe ARDS. ECMO may correct hypoxemia but may also aid in protecting the lungs [1]. However, there is scarce data about the optimal way to ventilate the lungs during ECMO. Experimental models of acute lung injury with ECMO are usually too short.


To develop an extended severe ARDS model supported with ECMO suitable to assess the impact of different ventilatory strategies during ECMO.


Eighteen domestic pigs (27-35 kg) were anesthetized, mechanically ventilated (Vt 10 ml/kg, PEEP 5, O2 1.0) and invasively monitored. Thereafter they were randomized into 3 groups: sham, lung injury, and lung injury + ECMO. SHAM animals were ventilated for 24 hours with standard ventilation (Vt 10 ml/kg, PEEP 5, FiO2 1.0 and RR adjusted to keep PaCO2 30 to 50 mmHg) and then euthanized. In the other groups lung injury was induced by saline lavages (30 ml/kg per lavage) performed repeatedly in both supine and prone position until PaO2/FiO2 dropped below 250. They were then subjected to a 2-hour injurious ventilation with PCV, PEEP = 0,Pinsp = 40 cmH2O, RR = 10/min, I:E = 1:1, one hour in prone and the other in supine. After completing lung injury (time 0) animals were subjected to 24 hours of standard ventilation. In the ECMO group, animals were immediately connected to a saline primed-MEDOS Hilite ECMO circuit by inserting a AVALON 23F double-lumen cannula through the external jugular vein. Blood flow was set at 60-70% of cardiac output. Respiratory and hemodynamic data, as well as plasma and BAL samples were collected at times 0,3, 6, 12, 18 and 24h. After euthanizing animals at time 24h tissue samples were extracted from the lungs.


The two-hit lung injury model resulted in severe hypoxemia, decreased compliance, and with extensive lung inflammation on histology, with only 6/12 animals surviving up to 24h. Lung tissue revealed extensive inflammation. ECMO resulted in improved survival, increased oxygenation, lower pulmonary artery pressures, but no change was observed on compliance. Wet/dry ratio in lung tissue was 4.1±0.9, 7.2±0.1, and 7.2±0.5 in the SHAM, lung injury and lung injury+ECMO groups, respectively. ECMO setup had minimal recirculation with high O2 and CO2 transfer rates. Although protective ventilation was not applied in this feasibility study in pilot experiments we confirmed that the ECMO setup has the potential to provide extended full lung support.

figure 1

Figure 1


An extended lung injury model supported with ECMO is feasible. The two-hit model produced a steady compromise in compliance despite partial recovery of hypoxemia.


  1. Gattinoni L, et al.: Towards ultraprotective mechanical ventilation. Curr Opin Anesthesiol 2012, 25: 141–147. 10.1097/ACO.0b013e3283503125

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Grant acknowledgment

CONICYT, Fondecyt 1130428

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits use, duplication, adaptation, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bruhn, A., Cruces, P., Tapia, P. et al. 0671. Extended extracorporeal lung support in a porcine acute lung injury model. Feasibility and preliminary data. ICMx 2 (Suppl 1), P44 (2014).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: