Exposure of patients to significant hemolysis can lead to serious clinical sequelae. Plasma free hemoglobin (pFHgb) is used during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support to monitor ongoing hemolysis that is a consequence of mechanical forces applied to the red blood cells. This publication presents the case of a 3-year-old child who required ECMO support due to severe pneumonia. During her ECMO course, she developed severe elevations of pFHgb that were of questionable validity. Additional laboratory findings suggested a concurrent hypertriglyceridemia to be the potential cause for these false elevations. Linear regression analysis was employed and revealed a statistically significant (P = .006) moderate correlation between pFHgb and triglyceride levels (R = .69). The analysis reinforces the theory that hypertriglyceridemia may lead to false increases in pFHgb, which may complicate a patient's clinical picture and influence management decisions. Therefore, it should not be the sole value used to assess hemolysis in patients on ECMO.
- extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
- plasma free hemoglobin
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Management Science and Operations Research