Use of a disposable vascular pressure device to guide balloon inflation of resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta: a bench study

Sci Rep. 2021 Dec 15;11(1):24055. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-03502-6.


Resuscitative endovascular balloon occlusion of the aorta (REBOA) for rapid hemorrhage control is increasingly being used in trauma management. Its beneficial hemodynamic effects on unstable patients beyond temporal hemostasis has led to growing interest in its use in other patient populations, such as during cardiac arrest from nontraumatic causes. The ability to insert the catheters without fluoroscopic guidance makes the technique available in the prehospital setting. However, in addition to correct positioning, challenges include reliably achieving aortic occlusion while minimizing the risk of balloon rupture. Without fluoroscopic control, inflation of the balloon relies on estimated aortic diameters and on the disappearing pulse in the contralateral femoral artery. In the case of cardiac arrest or absent palpable pulses, balloon inflation is associated with excess risk of overinflation and adverse events (vessel damage, balloon rupture). In this bench study, we examined how the pressure in the balloon is related to the surrounding blood pressure and the balloon's contact with the vessel wall in two sets of experiments, including a pulsatile circulation model. With this data, we developed a rule of thumb to guide balloon inflation of the ER-REBOA catheter with a simple disposable pressure-reading device (COMPASS). We recommend slowly filling the balloon with saline until the measured balloon pressure is 160 mmHg, or 16 mL of saline have been used. If after 16 mL the balloon pressure is still below 160 mmHg, saline should be added in 1-mL increments, which increases the pressure target about 10 mmHg at each step, until the maximum balloon pressure is reached at 240 mmHg (= 24 mL inflation volume). A balloon pressure greater than 250 mmHg indicates overinflation. With this rule and a disposable pressure-reading device (COMPASS), ER-REBOA balloons can be safely filled in austere environments where fluoroscopy is unavailable. Pressure monitoring of the balloon allows for recognition of unintended deflation or rupture of the balloon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Aorta*
  • Balloon Occlusion / methods*
  • Balloon Occlusion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Catheters
  • Clinical Decision-Making
  • Disease Management
  • Endovascular Procedures / methods
  • Endovascular Procedures / statistics & numerical data
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Resuscitation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / diagnosis
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / epidemiology
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / etiology
  • Shock, Hemorrhagic / therapy