The Implantable Pediatric Artificial Lung: Interim Report on the Development of an End-Stage Lung Failure Model

Fares Alghanem, Ryan P. Davis, Benjamin S. Bryner, Hayley R. Hoffman, John Trahanas, Marie S. Cornell, Alvaro Rojas-Peña*, Robert H. Bartlett, Ronald B. Hirschl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


An implantable pediatric artificial lung (PAL) may serve as a bridge to lung transplantation for children with end-stage lung failure (ESLF); however, an animal model of pediatric lung failure is needed to evaluate the efficacy of PAL before it can enter clinical trials. The objective of this study was to assess ligation of the right pulmonary artery (rPA) as a model for pediatric ESLF. Seven lambs weighing 20-30 kg underwent rPA ligation and were recovered and monitored for up to 4 days. Intraoperatively, rPA ligation significantly increased physiologic dead space fraction (Vd/Vt; baseline = 48.6 ± 5.7%, rPA ligation = 60.1 ± 5.2%, p = 0.012), mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPPA; baseline = 17.4 ± 2.2 mm Hg, rPA ligation = 28.5 ± 5.2 mm Hg, p < 0.001), and arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide (baseline = 40.4 ± 9.3 mm Hg, rPA ligation = 57.3 ± 12.7 mm Hg, p = 0.026). Of the seven lambs, three were unable to be weaned from mechanical ventilation postoperatively, three were successfully weaned but suffered cardiorespiratory failure within 4 days, and one survived all 4 days. All four animals that were successfully weaned from mechanical ventilation had persistent pulmonary hypertension (mPPA = 28.6 ± 2.2 mm Hg) and remained tachypneic (respiratory rate = 63 ± 21 min-1). Three of the four recovered lambs required supplemental oxygen. We conclude that rPA ligation creates the physiologic derangements commonly seen in pediatric ESLF and may be suitable for testing and implanting a PAL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)453-458
Number of pages6
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 21 2015


  • animal model
  • artificial lung
  • pediatric
  • pulmonary artery ligation
  • pulmonary failure
  • sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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