Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 41, Issue 10, pp 1773–1780 | Cite as

A novel pump-driven veno-venous gas exchange system during extracorporeal CO2-removal

  • Alexander Hermann
  • Katharina Riss
  • Peter Schellongowski
  • Andja Bojic
  • Philipp Wohlfarth
  • Oliver Robak
  • Wolfgang R. Sperr
  • Thomas StaudingerEmail author



Pump-driven veno-venous extracorporeal CO2-removal (ECCO2-R) increasingly takes root in hypercapnic lung failure to minimize ventilation invasiveness or to avoid intubation. A recently developed device (iLA activve®, Novalung, Germany) allows effective decarboxylation via a 22 French double lumen cannula. To assess determinants of gas exchange, we prospectively evaluated the performance of ECCO2-R in ten patients receiving iLA activve® due to hypercapnic respiratory failure.


Sweep gas flow was increased in steps from 1 to 14 L/min at constant blood flow (phase 1). Similarly, blood flow was gradually increased at constant sweep gas flow (phase 2). At each step gas transfer via the membrane as well as arterial blood gas samples were analyzed.


During phase 1, we observed a significant increase in CO2 transfer together with a decrease in PaCO2 levels from a median of 66 mmHg (range 46–85) to 49 (31–65) mmHg from 1 to 14 L/min sweep gas flow (p < 0.0001), while arterial oxygenation deteriorated with high sweep gas flow rates. During phase 2, oxygen transfer significantly increased leading to an increase in PaO2 from 67 (49–87) at 0.5 L/min to 117 (66–305) mmHg at 2.0 L/min (p < 0.0001). Higher blood flows also significantly enhanced decarboxylation (p < 0.0001).


Increasing sweep gas flow results in effective CO2-removal, which can be further reinforced by raising blood flow. The clinically relevant oxygenation effect in this setting could broaden the range of indications of the system and help to set up an individually tailored configuration.


ECCO2-R iLA activve® Hypercapnia Decarboxylation Extracorporeal circulation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

Two of the authors (Thomas Staudinger, Peter Schellongowski) received speaker fees from Novalung.

Supplementary material

134_2015_3957_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (428 kb)
Supplementary material 1: Panel a: Crude CO2 transfer during stepwise increase of sweep gas flow (study phase 1), panel b: Crude CO2 transfer during stepwise increase of blood flow (study phase 2). Asterisks denote statistically significant changes compared to baseline (p < 0.0001). (JPEG 428 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Hermann
    • 1
  • Katharina Riss
    • 1
  • Peter Schellongowski
    • 1
  • Andja Bojic
    • 1
  • Philipp Wohlfarth
    • 1
  • Oliver Robak
    • 1
  • Wolfgang R. Sperr
    • 1
  • Thomas Staudinger
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medicine I, Intensive Care Unit 13i2, General Hospital ViennaMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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