Rescue Therapy With a Pumpless Extracorporeal Lung Assist Device in a Patient With Acute Interstitial Lung Disease and Severe Refractory Hypercapnia

Authors: Petzoldt, Martin; Braune, Stephan; Bittmann, Iris; Kluge, Stefan

Source: Respiratory Care, Volume 57, Number 2, February 2012 , pp. 293-297(5)

Publisher: The Journal Respiratory Care Company

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Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia frequently causes severe pulmonary restriction that in turn makes mechanical ventilation difficult. We report the case of a 44-year-old woman who developed a refractory severe hypercapnic respiratory failure (PaCO2 281 mm Hg, pH 6.77) despite mechanical ventilation with high inspiratory pressure and PEEP. A pumpless extracorporeal lung assist device, Novalung, was used as rescue therapy for carbon dioxide removal, enabling lung-protective ventilation and normalization of life-threatening acidosis. Open lung biopsy revealed an idiopathic interstitial pneumonia with histological features of a nonspecific interstitial pneumonia. Corticosteroid therapy led to progressive improvement of pulmonary function, soon permitting cessation of mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal therapy. The patient was discharged from the intensive care unit after 20 days. This case demonstrates the successful use of pumpless extracorporeal lung assist as an alternative device to pump-driven extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in severe hypercapnic respiratory failure secondary to nonspecific interstitial pneumonia.

Keywords: hypercapnia; interstitial pneumonia; pumpless extracorporeal lung assist

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2012

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