Send to

Choose Destination
ASAIO J. 1993 Jul-Sep;39(3):M448-52.

Emergency lung transplantation after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Author information

Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Germany.


In some patients with acute respiratory failure, the native lungs do not recover during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), or complications occur that preclude the meaningful continuation of ECMO therapy. In such cases, emergency lung transplantation (LTx) represents the only therapeutic alternative. Between May 1988 and April 1993, the authors have performed LTx after ECMO support in five of 111 lung or heart-lung transplantations (4.5%). Two patients presented with early graft failure after unilateral LTx. In these patients, ECMO was used as a bridging device to unilateral re-LTx for 1, resp. 11 days. One patient died 6 months post-operatively from chronic rejection; the other underwent a third LTx and is doing well after 42 months. In three further patients already treated with ECMO for 5 to 12 days for ARDS (n = 2) or acute respiratory failure after liver and kidney transplantation, the native lungs did not recover (n = 2) or pulmonary hemorrhage developed. The last patient (unilateral LTx) and one of the former (bilateral LTx for ARDS) are long-term survivors (12, 30 months). The remaining patient (unilateral LTx for ARDS) had severe multiorgan failure at the time of his operation and died intraoperatively. The authors conclude that ECMO no longer represents a contraindication to subsequent LTx. Their results also support the continued investigation of this combined therapeutic approach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center