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Respir Care. 2013 Apr;58(4):e42-6. doi: 10.4187/respcare.01759.

Helium-oxygen mixture to facilitate ventilation in patients with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome after lung transplantation.

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Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 43205, USA.


A combination of helium and oxygen (heliox) can facilitate gas exchange and limit peak inspiratory pressures through reduced resistance to gas flow and decreased turbulent flow. The combination of these gases has been used for a variety of upper and lower airway conditions, including patients who were spontaneously breathing, receiving noninvasive ventilation, as well as during mechanical ventilation. To date, there are no reports regarding the use of heliox in patients with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome following lung transplantation. We report the use of such a combination of gases in 2 patients with bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome following lung transplantation as a supportive measure to facilitate ventilation during the initial treatment course for acute respiratory failure in the ICU. A heliox mixture was administered with noninvasive ventilation and with mechanical ventilation through the ventilator in a heart-lung transplant recipient and a lung transplant recipient, respectively.

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