We designed a novel respiratory dialysis system to remove Co2 from blood in the form of bicarbonate. We aimed to determine if our respiratory dialysis system removes Co2 at rates comparable to low-flow extracorporeal Co2 removal devices (blood flow < 500 mL/min) in a large animal model.
Animal research laboratory.
Female Yorkshire pigs.
Five bicarbonate dialysis experiments were performed. Hypercapnia (Pco2 90–100 mm Hg) was established in mechanically ventilated swine by adjusting the tidal volume. Dialysis was then performed with a novel low bicarbonate dialysate.
Measurements and Main Results:
We measured electrolytes, blood gases, and plasma-free hemoglobin in arterial blood, as well as blood entering and exiting the dialyzer. We used a physical-chemical acid-base model to understand the factors influencing blood pH after bicarbonate removal. During dialysis, we removed 101 (±13) mL/min of Co2 (59 mL/min when normalized to venous Pco2 of 45 mm Hg), corresponding to a 29% reduction in Paco2 (104.0 ± 8.1 vs 74.2 ± 8.4 mm Hg; p < 0.001). Minute ventilation and body temperature were unchanged during dialysis (1.2 ± 0.4 vs 1.1 ± 0.4 L/min; p = 1.0 and 35.3°C ± 0.9 vs 35.2°C ± 0.6; p = 1.0). Arterial pH increased after bicarbonate removal (7.13 ± 0.04 vs 7.21 ± 0.05; p < 0.001) despite no attempt to realkalinize the blood. Our modeling showed that dialysate electrolyte composition, plasma albumin, and plasma total Co2 accurately predict the measured pH of blood exiting the dialyser. However, the final effluent dose exceeded conventional doses, depleting plasma glucose and electrolytes, such as potassium and phosphate.
Bicarbonate dialysis results in Co2 removal at rates comparable with existing low-flow extracorporeal Co2 removal in a large animal model, but the final dialysis dose delivered needs to be reduced before the technique can be used for prolonged periods.