Acute Crit Care.  2020 May;35(2):117-121. 10.4266/acc.2018.00416.

Right ventricular assist device with an oxygenator using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a bridge to lung transplantation in a patient with severe respiratory failure and right heart decompensation

  • 1Departments of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Departments of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Right heart decompensation is a fatal complication in patients with respiratory failure, particularly in those transitioned to lung transplantation using veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-V ECMO). In these patients, veno-arterial (V-A ECMO) or veno-arterialvenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-AV ECMO) is used to support both cardiac and respiratory function. However, these processes may increase the risk of device-related complications such as bleeding, thromboembolism, and limb ischemia. In the present case, a 64-year-old male patient with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis developed respiratory failure and commenced treatment with V-V ECMO as a bridge to lung transplantation. Unfortunately, the patient developed right heart decompensation and required both cardiac and respiratory support during treatment with V-V ECMO. Instead of adding arterial cannulation, he was switched to a novel configuration, a right ventricular assist device with an oxygenator (Oxy- RVAD) using ECMO, with drainage cannulation from the femoral vein and return cannulation to the main pulmonary artery. The patient was successfully bridged to lung transplantation without serious complications after 10 days of Oxy-RVAD support. To the best of our knowledge, this is an extreme rare and challenging case of Oxy-RVAD using ECMO in a patient successfully bridged to lung transplantation.


extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; heart-assist devices; heart failure; lung transplantation; respiratory insufficiency; right heart bypass
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