Venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) is used not only support gas transfer of patients suffering from respiratory failure, but also to manage hypoxic patients with critical airway obstruction during various procedures. We present a case in which we electively used VV-ECMO to facilitate tube placement and tracheal biopsy in a 67-year-old female with critical tracheal stenosis. The patient was transferred to our hospital for a surgical treatment after emergent tracheostomy for postoperative management of cerebral hemorrhage in right putamen. Her trachea was severely stenotic and just enough for a 5.5 mm tracheostomy tube. Removal of tracheostomy tube, tracheal wall biopsy and intra-tracheal tube placement were successfully performed under VV-ECMO support, drainage from inferior vena cava returned into the right ventricle (RV). RV perfusion was a very useful and effective method in VV-ECMO system, although some careful wire management was needed under fluoroscopic guidance.
VV-ECMO Critical airway stenosis
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