BACKGROUND:: Extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal has been proposed to achieve protective ventilation in patients at risk for ventilator-induced lung injury. In an acute study, the authors previously described an extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal technique enhanced by regional extracorporeal blood acidification. The current study evaluates efficacy and feasibility of such technology applied for 48 h. METHODS:: Ten pigs were connected to a low-flow veno-venous extracorporeal circuit (blood flow rate, 0.25 l/min) including a membrane lung. Blood acidification was achieved in eight pigs by continuous infusion of 2.5 mEq/min of lactic acid at the membrane lung inlet. The acid infusion was interrupted for 1 h at the 24 and 48 h. Two control pigs did not receive acidification. At baseline and every 8 h thereafter, the authors measured blood lactate, gases, chemistry, and the amount of carbon dioxide removed by the membrane lung (VCO2ML). The authors also measured erythrocyte metabolites and selected cytokines. Histological and metalloproteinases analyses were performed on selected organs. RESULTS:: Blood acidification consistently increased VCO2ML by 62 to 78%, from 79 Â± 13 to 128 Â± 22 ml/min at baseline, from 60 Â± 8 to 101 Â± 16 ml/min at 24 h, and from 54 Â± 6 to 96 Â± 16 ml/min at 48 h. During regional acidification, arterial pH decreased slightly (average reduction, 0.04), whereas arterial lactate remained lower than 4 mEq/l. No sign of organ and erythrocyte damage was recorded. CONCLUSION:: Infusion of lactic acid at the membrane lung inlet consistently increased VCO2ML providing a safe removal of carbon dioxide from only 250 ml/min extracorporeal blood flow in amounts equivalent to 50% production of an adult man. Copyright Â© 2013, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Inc.
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