Titrate to equilibrate and not exsanguinate! Characterization and validation of a novel partial resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta catheter in normal and hemorrhagic shock conditions

J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2019 Nov;87(5):1015-1025. doi: 10.1097/TA.0000000000002378.


Background: Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) is a significant advancement in the control of noncompressible truncal hemorrhage. However, its ischemic burden and reperfusion injury following balloon deflation limits its utilization. Partial restoration of aortic flow during REBOA has the potential to balance hemorrhage control and ischemia. This study validates the mechanics, physiology, and optimal partial flow rates using a prototype partial REBOA (pREBOA) device.

Methods: Twenty-five swine underwent placement of aortic flow probes and zone 1 pREBOA. Experiment 1 (N = 5) animals were not injured and assessed the tested the catheters ability to titrate and control flow. Experiment 2 (N = 10) added 20% hemorrhage and either solid organ, or abdominal vascular injury to compare flow rate and rebleeding from injuries. Experiment 3 (N = 10) swine were similarly prepared, hemorrhaged, and underwent pREBOA at set partial flow rates for 2 hours followed by complete deflation for 30 minutes.

Results: Balloon volume at minimum flow (mean, 0.09 L/min) was 3.5 mL to 6.0 mL. Half maximal flow was achieved with 56.5% of maximum balloon inflation. Partial REBOA allowed very fine titration of flow rates. Rebleeding occurred at 0.45 L/min to 0.83 L/min. Distal flow of 0.7 L/min had 50% survival, 0.5 had 100% survival, and 0.3 L had 50% survival with mean end lactates of 9.6, 12.6, and 13.3, respectively. There was a trend toward hyperkalemia and hypocalcemia in nonsurvivors.

Conclusion: The pREBOA device demonstrated a high level of titratability for restoration of aortic flow. An optimal partial flow of 0.5 L/min was effective at hemorrhage control while limiting the burden of ischemic injury, and extending the tolerable duration of zone 1 occlusion. Aggressive calcium supplementation prior to and during partial occlusion and reperfusion may be warranted to prevent hyperkalemic arrest.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / injuries*
  • Aorta / physiopathology
  • Balloon Occlusion / adverse effects
  • Balloon Occlusion / methods*
  • Catheters
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endovascular Procedures / adverse effects
  • Endovascular Procedures / instrumentation
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods*
  • Exsanguination / etiology
  • Exsanguination / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Reperfusion Injury / etiology
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control
  • Resuscitation / adverse effects
  • Resuscitation / instrumentation
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / therapy*
  • Sus scrofa
  • Treatment Outcome