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J Pediatr Surg. 2012 May;47(5):E21-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2011.12.029.

Successful use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for acute respiratory failure in a patient with chronic granulomatous disease.

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Department of Surgery, Primary Children's Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.


A 9-year-old boy presented with pneumonia, bilateral pulmonary lesions, and fulminant respiratory failure requiring support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Open lung biopsy and subsequent bronchoscopy identified Nocardia cyriacigeorgica and Burkholderia cepacia pneumonia. Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) was diagnosed by an abnormal neutrophil oxidative burst assay. An aggressive diagnostic and therapeutic strategy, which included ECMO, allowed for patient survival and return to baseline function. No ECMO survivors with CGD have previously been reported. It is now recognized that several forms of CGD exist, and some forms may be compatible with long-term survival. Therefore, the diagnosis of CGD should not necessarily be considered a contraindication to ECMO. This is the first known survivor of CGD-related acute respiratory failure supported by ECMO.

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