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J Cyst Fibros. 2012 Jan;11(1):40-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2011.07.009. Epub 2011 Oct 26.

Ambulatory venovenous extracorporeal respiratory support as a bridge for cystic fibrosis patients to emergent lung transplantation.

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  • 1The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.


Venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV ECMO) is a therapeutic option to bridge patients with advanced lung disease to lung transplantation. The use of VV ECMO avoids the use of mechanical ventilation while allowing patients to participate in physical therapy and to eat normally while receiving respiratory support. We describe the successful use of ambulatory single-venous VV ECMO as a bridge to bilateral lung transplantation in 4 patients with end-stage lung disease due to cystic fibrosis who developed acute hypercapnic respiratory failure. The use of ambulatory single-venous VV ECMO was safe and effective in this small cohort of CF patients. Based on our experiences, our belief is that a key step in the treatment course was early application of VV ECMO soon after development of acute respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation.

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