Blood samples were drawn before surgery and at different time-points after ECMO. Blood cell count, lactic acid level, and ACT were detected routinely, while arterial blood gas was determined by the i-STAT analyzer. Blood samples were collected and injected into the Ethylene Diamine Tetraacetic Acid (EDTA) anticoagulant tube. These specimens were then centrifuged at 4000 revolutions per minute (RPM) at 4 degrees centigrade for 10 min and the plasma was accrued. We processed each sample within 4 hours after collection. Cytokines were measured at baseline, 2 hours, 6 hours, 12 hours, and 24 hours during ECMO, using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). ELISA kits for plasma free hemoglobin (PFH), tissue growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), human tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, and IL-8 (BD Biosciences, San Jose, CA, USA) were used based on their instructions.

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