Feature | May 13, 2013| Dave Fornell

ECMO May Become the pVAD of the Future

There is a growing trend in the use of small, portable extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) systems for hemodynamic support. In years past, ECMO systems were a tool of the operating room, primarily for bypass surgery. Older systems required a perfusionist to watch the machine 24 hours a day while it was in operation. Today’s ECMOs use consoles that are much easier to use and do not require a full-time person to monitor. Also, as the technology has been miniaturized, simplified and now uses a percutaneous access system, ECMOs are being used outside the OR, including the cath lab, when a large amount of support is needed that cannot be provided by IABPs or pVADs. 

“These are definitely being put in the cath lab more and will see increasing use in the cath lab in the future ­— that will become the norm,” said Alan L. Gass, M.D., medical director, heart failure, heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support, Westchester Heart and Vascular, and associate professor of medicine, New York Medical College. 

“We have seen that trend and we are helping drive it,” said Luca Lombardi, M.D., chief medical officer, Maquet Cardiovascular. “The technology has evolved tremendously over the past few years to reduce the trauma to the patient. Just 10 years ago we had to do a full surgical exposure to access the vessels, but today the external diameter of the canula is percutaneous, between 1.2 mm for pediatrics and up to 5 mm for adults.”

Gass has experience with both the Maquet CardioHelp and Thoratec CentriMag extracorporeal circulatory support devices. 

The CardioHelp is the world’s smallest circulatory and/or pulmonary support system, weighing just 22 pounds. It can be carried by one person and can be used inside or outside the hospital, including for patient transport. It offers an easy-to-use, touch-screen console interface and plug-and-play setup. Gass said the system offers 3 to 5 lpm of flow, so in patients who need more support than an IABP, he often uses this system as the next step up. 

“It’s a great little system with everything you need put into a small package,” Gass said. 

His only criticism of the CardioHelp is the inability to see if clots are forming in the oxygenator. 

The CentriMag pump is also very small, lightweight and easily transportable. Thoretec says the system can deliver up to 9.9 lpm of flow. The pump has no bearings, but instead uses magnetic levitation, which the vendor says reduced hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells) and the likelihood of mechanical pump failure. 

Related Content

Sponsored Content | Videos | Structural Heart| June 30, 2016
Interview with Steven Little, M.D., medical director of the Valve Clinic at the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart and V
St. Jude Medical, HeartMate 3 LVAS, LVAD, CardioStim-EHRA Europace Innovation Award 2016
News | Ventricular Assist Devices (VAD)| June 29, 2016
St. Jude Medical Inc. recently announced the company received an Innovation Award for its HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular...
Sponsored Content | Videos | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| June 28, 2016
Interview with Rebecca Hahn, M.D., FASE, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, at the American Society of Ech
Zoll LifeVest wearable defibrillator, WEARIT-II Registry results, CardioStim EuroPace 2016
News | Defibrillator Monitors| June 21, 2016
Zoll Medical Corp. announced that patients experience a high one-year survival rate following use of the LifeVest...
Sponsored Content | Videos | Structural Heart Occluders| June 16, 2016
This is an animation of how a Gore Cardioform Septal Occluder is implanted for the transcatheter closure of ASDs or P
GE Healthcare, Getinge Group, Maquet, Discovery IGS 730 angiography system, Magnus operating table, integrated, hybrid OR

GE Healthcare's Discovery IGS 730 angiography system

Technology | Hybrid OR| June 13, 2016
GE Healthcare and Getinge Group announced the U.S. launch of a new, highly flexible angiography solution for surgery,...
Inventory management, cath lab inventory management, automated inventory management
Sponsored Content | Webinar | Inventory Management| June 10, 2016
Do you find products are stocked based on intuition rather than actual utilization based on clinical demand?
heart failure, muscle bleeding, British Cardiovascular Conference, MRI
News | Heart Failure| June 08, 2016
The amount a heart ‘bleeds’ following a heart attack can predict the severity of future heart failure, according to...
Overlay Init