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ASAIO J. 2009 Jul-Aug;55(4):420-2. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0b013e3181a7b55d.

Venovenous carbon dioxide removal in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: experience in one patient.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77555-0561, USA.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Acute exacerbations of COPD account for up to 84% of the total economic cost of this disease. The altered mechanics of the COPD patient represent a unique challenge to the clinician instituting assisted ventilation in this population. We developed an alternative mode of limited extracorporeal support termed Venovenous carbon dioxide removal (VVCO2R). We report our first case using VVCO2R, a 42-year-old white woman with a history of COPD and asthma, who was a heavy smoker at the time of admission. We utilized a compact, low flow pediatric extracorporeal circuit interposed with a low resistance gas exchange device. Venovenous carbon dioxide removal allowed for a reduction in the patient's minute ventilation to 30% of baseline with improved arterial blood gases (ABGs), a reduction in peak airway pressures and improvement in her hyperinflation. Our experience demonstrates that this system can effectively remove CO2 safely in a single cannula venous configuration while maintaining minimal anticoagulation. We believe this system could potentially be utilized in any medical or surgical intensive care unit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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