Peripheral cannulae selection for veno-arterial extracorporeal life support: a paradox
Explosive penetration of veno-arterial extracorporeal life support in everyday practice has drawn awareness to complications of peripheral cannulation, resulting in recommendations to use smaller size cannulae. However, using smaller cannulae may limit the effectiveness of extracorporeal support and thereby the specific needs of the patient. Selection of proper size cannulae may therefore pose a dilemma, especially since pressure-flow characteristics at different hematocrits are lacking. This study evaluates the precision of cannula pressure drop prediction with increase of fluid viscosity from water flow-pressure charts by M-number, dynamic similarity law, and via fitted parabolic equation. Thirteen commercially available peripheral cannulae were used in this in vitro study. Pressure drop and flow were recorded using water and a water-glycerol solution as a surrogate for blood, at ambient temperature. Subsequently, pressure-flow curves were modeled with increased fluid viscosity (0.0031 N s m−2), and then compared by M-number, dynamic similarity law, and fitted parabolic equation. The agreement of predicted and measured values were significantly higher when the M-number (concordance correlation = 0.948), and the dynamic similarity law method (concordance correlation = 0.947) was used in comparison to the fitted parabolic equation (concordance correlation = 0.898, p < 0.01). The M-number and dynamic similarity based model allow for reliable prediction of peripheral cannula pressure drop with changes of fluid viscosity and could therefore aid in well-thought-out selection of cannulae for extracorporeal life support.