Intraoperative veno-venous extracorporeal lung support in thoracic surgery: a single-centre experience

Bassam Redwan, Stephan Ziegeler, Stefan Freermann, Liane Nique, Michael Semik, Mahyar Lavae-Mokhtari, Thomas Meemann, Nicolas Dickgreber, Stefan Fischer
Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 2015, 21 (6): 766-72

OBJECTIVES: Intraoperative extracorporeal lung support (ECLS) during thoracic surgical procedures is a modern concept that is gaining increasing acceptance. So far, cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (v-a-ECMO) or pumpless arterio-venous interventional lung assist (iLA) were utilized for intraoperative support. Only a few case reports have described the use of veno-venous ECMO for intraoperative ECLS. Here, we report our experience with intraoperative ECLS using different veno-venous low-flow and high-flow settings adapted to the individual patient requirements.

METHODS: Between April 2014 and April 2015, 9 patients underwent pulmonary resections under ECLS. In 6 patients, a twin-port double-lumen cannula was inserted percutaneously into the right femoral vein for low-flow ECLS. In 3 patients, high-flow ECLS was achieved either by femoro-atrial (n = 1) or femoro-jugular cannulation.

RESULTS: Indications for ECLS were severely impaired lung function (n = 3), previous pulmonary resections including contralateral pneumonectomy (n = 4), previous single-lung transplantation (sLTX) (n = 1) and extended carinal pneumonectomy (n = 1). Procedures included segmentectomy (n = 3), extended lobectomy with bronchial and vascular anastomoses (n = 1), VATS lobectomy (n = 2), extended left-sided carinal pneumonectomy (n = 1) as well as extended metastasectomy (n = 2). Low-flow ECLS allowed for apnoea up to 45 min in patients with previous pneumonectomy (n = 3) and facilitated protective single-lung ventilation in patients (n = 3) with severely impaired pulmonary function. During trans-sternal carinal pneumonectomy (n = 1), high-flow ECLS achieved by femoro-atrial cannulation allowed for apnoea for 40 min, avoiding cross-field ventilation. In 2 patients requiring extended metastasectomy after previous lobectomy of the contralateral lower lobe (n = 1) or pulmonary metastases in the graft after sLTX for end-stage fibrosis (n = 1), high-flow ECLS by percutaneous femoro-jugular cannulation allowed for extensive metastasectomy under optimal atelectasis of the lung.

CONCLUSIONS: For intraoperative ECLS, different modes may be applied depending on the intended procedures and required mechanical ventilation. In our experience, different settings of veno-venous ECLS provide sufficient partial or complete lung support, avoiding possible complications associated with other forms of extracorporeal support such as CPB or v-a-ECMO.

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