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Pump-driven extracorporeal gas exchange systems have been advocated in patients suffering from severe acute respiratory distress syndrome who are at risk for life-threatening hypoxemia and/or hypercapnia. This requires extended technical and staff support.We report retrospectively our experience with a new pumpless extracorporeal interventional lung assist (iLA) establishing an arteriovenous shunt as the driving pressure.University hospital.Ninety patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome.Interventional lung assist was inserted in 90 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome.Oxygenation improvement, carbon dioxide elimination, hemodynamic variables, and the amount of vasopressor substitution were reported before, 2 hrs after, and 24 hrs after implementation of the system. Interventional lung assist led to an acute and moderate increase in arterial oxygenation (Pao2/Fio2 ratio 2 hrs after initiation of iLA [median and interquartile range], 82 mm Hg [64–103]) compared with pre-iLA (58 mm Hg [47–78], p < .05). Oxygenation continued to improve for 24 hrs after implementation (101 mm Hg [74–142], p < .05). Hypercapnia was promptly and markedly reversed by iLA within 2 hrs (Paco2, 36 mm Hg [30–44]) in comparison with before (60 mm Hg [48–80], p < .05], which allowed a less aggressive ventilation. For hemodynamic stability, all patients received continuous norepinephrine infusion. The incidence of complications was 24.4%, mostly due to ischemia in a lower limb. Thirty-seven of 90 patients survived, creating a lower mortality rate than expected from the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score.Interventional lung assist might provide a sufficient rescue measure with easy handling properties and low cost in patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome and persistent hypoxia/hypercapnia.