Blood lactic acid levels after artificial heart implantation

Benjamin B.Y. Chiang, Karla Stevens, Steven W. Etoch, Patricia Cerrito, Laman A. Gray, Robert D. Dowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The aim of this study is to investigate blood lactic acid levels after the placement of the AbioCor implantable replacement heart to determine whether circulatory support with the AbioCor device results in adequate tissue perfusion. Tissue perfusion may not be adequate during cardiac surgery, especially with the use of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Inadequate perfusion is usually associated with anaerobic metabolism, metabolic acidosis, and lactate accumulation. Ten calves had implantation of the AbioCor by means of a right thoracotomy. Standard cardiopulmonary bypass was performed during surgery. Lactic acid levels and blood gas analyses were measured. All animals were monitored for pressures in the aorta, pulmonary artery, and left and right atria. The output of the AbioCor was calculated based on beat rate and stroke volume. All animals were rapidly weaned off cardiopulmonary bypass to full AbioCor support and had normal hemodynamics with normal filling pressures. The lactic acid levels were elevated after surgery, peaked at 8 to 12 hours, and then gradually decreased to the normal range 24 hours after surgery. There was a positive relationship between lactate levels, oxygen consumption, and extraction rate, that is, the lactic acid levels were higher in the presence of increased oxygen consumption and increased oxygen extraction rate. There was a negative relationship between lactate levels and oxygen delivery, and arterial and venous oxygen content, that is, the lactic acid levels were higher when oxygen delivery and arterial and venous oxygen contents were low. The pathophysiology of lactic acidosis is uncertain, but is most likely due to inadequate perfusion during cardiopulmonary bypass, and lactate washout after adequate perfusion has been established. The return to aerobic metabolism with clearance of lactate demonstrates that the AbioCor is able to provide complete circulatory support with normal tissue perfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-685
Number of pages3
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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