Dense pulmonary opacification in neonates treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
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Chest radiographic findings in three neonates with respiratory failure secondary to meconium aspiration treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) are described. The degree of pulmonary opacification on the chest radiographs failed to correlate with the patients' clinical status as measured by the arterial oxygen levels but correlated well with the peak airway pressure (PAP) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) settings on the mechanical ventilator. Because a variable portion of the arterial blood oxygenation is performed by the extracorporeal membrane oxygenator and unusually large fluctuations in airway pressure settings can occur in these patients while on ECMO, it is important to realize that the chest radiograph may not be an accurate predictor of the patients' clinical status.
KeywordsMechanical Ventilator Clinical Status Respiratory Failure Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Chest Radiograph
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