Gaseous microemboli detection in a simulated pediatric CPB circuit using a novel ultrasound system

Akemi Miller, Shigang Wang, John L. Myers, Akif Ündar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of flow rate and perfusion mode on the delivery of gaseous microemboli in a simulated pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) circuit with an open arterial filter purge line using a novel ultrasound detection system. The circuit was primed with 450 ml fresh, heparinized bovine blood plus 200 ml Lactated Ringer's solution (total volume 650 ml, corrected Hct 25%). After the injection of 5 ml air into the venous line, an Emboli Detection and Classification (EDAC) Quantifier (Luna Innovations, Inc., Roanoke, VA) was used to simultaneously record microemboli counts at postpump, postoxygenator, and postarterial filter sites. Trials were conducted at four different flow rates (500, 750, 1,000, 1,250 ml/min) and two perfusion modes (pulsatile, nonpulsatile). Microemboli counts uniformly increased with increasing pump flow rates. In all trials, the majority of gaseous microemboli detected in the simulated pediatric CPB circuit were <20 μm in diameter. At the lowest flow rate tested (500 ml/min), all microemboli (>10 μm) were cleared from the circuit by the oxygenator and arterial filter. Clearance efficiency was decreased at higher flow rates (750-1,250 ml/min). Over 98% of microemboli detected at the postoxygenator site were <40 μm in diameter. In general, pulsatile flow delivered more microemboli to the circuit at postpump and postoxygenator sites than nonpulsatile flow. The results of this study confirmed that entrained air from the venous line could be delivered to the systemic circulation (as represented by our pediatric pseudo patient) at flow rates from 750 to 1,250 ml/min, despite the presence of an arterial filter and open arterial filter purge line. All of the microemboli distal to the arterial filter were smaller than the conventional detectable level of 40 μm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-508
Number of pages5
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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