Pulsatile extracorporeal circulation may improve organ perfusion during cardiac surgery. Some minimally invasive extracorporeal circulation (MiECC) systems allow pulsatile perfusion. The present study investigated the influence of arterial tubing compliance on hemodynamic energy transfer into the patient.
Aortic models with adult human geometry were perfused in a mock circulation. A MiECC system was connected using either high-compliance silicone tubing or standard kit tubing. Energy equivalent pressure (EEP) and surplus hemodynamic energy (SHE) were computed from flow and pressure data. Aortic models with physiological and sub-physiological compliance were tested to assess the influence of the pseudo-patient.
Non-pulsatile flow did not generate SHE. SHE during pulsatile flow in the compliant aortic model was significantly higher with kit tubing compared to silicone tubing. Maximum SHE was achieved at 1.6 L/min with kit tubing (7.7% of mean arterial pressure) and with silicone tubing (4.9%). Using the low-compliance aortic model, SHE with kit tubing reached a higher maximum of 14.2% at 1.8 L/min compared to silicone tubing (11.8% at 1.5 L/min).
Flexible arterial tubing did not preserve more hemodynamic energy from a pulsatile pump compared to standard kit tubing in a model of adult extracorporeal circulation. The pseudo-patient’s compliance significantly affected the properties of the mock circulation.