Effects of an ex vivo pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation circuit on the sequestration of mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, hydromorphone, and fentanyl

Catherine S. Heith, Lizbeth A. Hansen, Rhonda M. Bakken, Sharon L. Ritter, Breeanna R. Long, Janet R. Hume, Lei Zhang, Danielle B. Amundsen, Marie E. Steiner, Gwenyth A. Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES With the expanding use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), understanding drug pharmacokinetics has become increasingly important, particularly in pediatric patients. This ex vivo study examines the effect of a pediatric Quadrox-iD ECMO circuit on the sequestration and binding of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), tacrolimus, and hydromorphone hydrochloride, which have not been extensively studied to date in pediatric ECMO circuits. Fentanyl, which has been well studied, was used as a comparator. METHODS ECMO circuits were set up using Quadrox-iD pediatric oxygenators and centrifugal pumps. The circuit was primed with whole blood and a reservoir was attached to represent a 5-kg patient. Fourteen French venous and 12 French arterial ECMO cannulas were inserted into the sealed reservoir. Temperature, pH, Po2, and Pco2 were monitored and corrected. MMF, tacrolimus, hydromorphone, and fentanyl were injected into the ECMO circuit. Serial blood samples were taken from a postoxygenator site at intervals over 12 hours, and levels were measured. RESULTS Hydromorphone hydrochloride was not as significantly sequestered by the ex vivo pediatric ECMO circuit when compared with fentanyl. Both mycophenolic acid and tacrolimus serum concentrations were stable in the circuit over 12 hours. CONCLUSIONS Hydromorphone may represent a useful medication for pain control for pediatric patients on ECMO due to its minimal sequestration. Mycophenolic acid and tacrolimus also did not show significant sequestration in the circuit, which was unexpected given their lipophilicity and protein-binding characteristics, but may provide insight into unexplored pharmacokinetics of particular medications in ECMO circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)290-295
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Disclosures Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health Award Number UL1TR000114. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. The authors declare no conflicts or financial interest in any product or service mentioned in the manuscript, including grants, equipment, medications, employment, gifts, and honoraria. The corresponding author had full access to all data and takes responsibility for the integrity and accuracy of the data analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© Published by the Pediatric Pharmacy Advocacy Group. All rights reserved.


  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Fentanyl citrate
  • Hydromorphone hydrochloride
  • Mycophenolate mofetil
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Tacrolimus

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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