The role of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in severe pulmonary coccidioidomycosis

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Abstract

Background:

Severe coccidioidal pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is associated with high mortality. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been applied successfully to other severe fungal pneumonia associated with ARDS. We review our experience with the use of ECMO in severe coccidioidal ARDS.

Objectives:

To review indications and outcome of ECMO in severe pulmonary coccidioidomycosis.

Methods:

Three cases of severe ARDS caused by coccidioidomycosis are presented. All were managed with ECMO. Clinical course, complications, antifungal therapy and outcome are reviewed.

Results:

Three cases of severe coccidioidal ARDS survived after treatment with ECMO. Common complications included bacterial pneumonia, encephalopathy and critical illness myopathy. They received liposomal amphotericin during ECMO, and transitioned to azole therapy. All required prolonged hospitalization and rehabilitation.

Conclusions:

ECMO was life-saving in cases of coccidioidal ARDS. Common complications included pneumonia, encephalopathy and critical illness myopathy. All cases were successfully managed with liposomal amphotericin followed by azole therapy. They required prolonged hospitalization and rehabilitation.

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