VV-ECMO–Assisted High-Risk Endobronchial Stenting as Rescue for Asphyxiating Mediastinal Mass

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The use of venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) has traditionally been limited to a narrow set of clinical circumstances, such as acute hypoxic respiratory failure, submassive pulmonary embolism, and cardiopulmonary collapse. Within the pediatric population, there have been cases of VV-ECMO in the context of extrinsic airway compression by a mediastinal mass, typically in the setting of either a lymphoma or germ cell tumors. However, the use of VV-ECMO for adults with extrinsic airway compression is comparatively limited. More specifically, VV-ECMO has been used as a bridge for tracheal reconstruction in both children and adults. Although, it has not been used in adults in the context of palliative endobronchial stent placement. We present a case of a 49-year-old woman with refractory multiple myeloma and extramedullary plasmacytoma presenting with acute hypoxic respiratory failure from extrinsic airway compression by a mediastinal plasmacytoma. We were able to use VV-ECMO to assist with endobronchial stent placement, followed by radiation therapy, and ultimately hospital discharge. In this article, we also review the literature surrounding VV-ECMO for extrinsic airway compression.

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