Low-Flow Extracorporeal Carbon Dioxide Removal Using the Hemolung Respiratory Dialysis System® to Facilitate Lung-Protective Mechanical Ventilation in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.J Extra Corpor Technol. 2017 06; 49(2):112-114.JE
Extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal (ECCO2R) permits reductions in alveolar ventilation requirements that the lungs would otherwise have to provide. This concept was applied to a case of hypercapnia refractory to high-level invasive mechanical ventilator support. We present a case of an 18-year-old man who developed post-pneumonectomy acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) after resection of a mediastinal germ cell tumor involving the left lung hilum. Hypercapnia and hypoxemia persisted despite ventilator support even at traumatic levels. ECCO2R using a miniaturized system was instituted and provided effective carbon dioxide elimination. This facilitated establishment of lung-protective ventilator settings and lung function recovery. Extracorporeal lung support increasingly is being applied to treat ARDS. However, conventional extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) generally involves using large cannulae capable of carrying high flow rates. A subset of patients with ARDS has mixed hypercapnia and hypoxemia despite high-level ventilator support. In the absence of profound hypoxemia, ECCO2R may be used to reduce ventilator support requirements to lung-protective levels, while avoiding risks associated with conventional ECMO.