Improved flow dynamics of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation via design modification of dual-lumen cannulas

Marjan Azimi, Sam Liao, Ashkan Vatani, Aidan J.C. Burrell, Shaun Gregory

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) supports patients with severe respiratory failure not responding to conventional treatments. Single-site jugular venous cannulation with dual-lumen cannulas (DLC) have several advantages over traditional single-lumen cannulas, however, bleeding and thrombosis are common, limiting their clinical utility. This study numerically investigated the effects of DLC side holes on blood flow dynamics since the maximum wall shear stress (WSS) occurs around the side holes. A DLC based on the Avalon Elite 27Fr model was implanted into an idealized 3D model of the vena cava and right atrium (RA). Eight DLCs were developed by changing the number, diameter, and spacing of side holes through an iterative design process. Physiologic flow at the inferior vena cava (IVC) and superior vena cava (SVC) were applied along with a partial ECMO support of 2 L/min. The SST k-ω turbulent model was solved for 6.4 seconds. WSS, washout, stagnation volume, and recirculation were compared. For all DLCs, no stasis region lasted more than one cardiac cycle and a complete washout was obtained in less than 4 seconds. Due to the IVC and SVC backflows, maximum WSS occurred around the DLC side holes at late systole and late diastole. A DLC with 16 and three side holes within the IVC and SVC, respectively, reduced the maximum WSS by up to 67% over the Avalon Elite 27Fr. Improved DLCs provided a more uniform WSS distribution with lower WSS around the side holes, potentially reducing the chance of thrombosis and bleeding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1358-1366
Number of pages9
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • bleeding
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • recirculation
  • thrombosis

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