Escalation of extracorporeal life support as a bridge to lung transplantation in end-stage lung disease

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Abstract

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as a bridge to lung transplant (LTx) is not uncommon, but it is not commonplace yet. We present a case of a 45-year-old man with cystic fibrosis with recent deterioration in lung function who was initially supported with veno-venous (VV) ECMO. However, he subsequently required conversion to veno-veno-arterial (VVA) ECMO. After 21 days of support, he underwent double lung transplantation, with an uneventful postoperative course. This case shows that, in patients with end-stage respiratory failure awaiting lung transplantation, extracorporeal life support may require escalation to improve gas exchange and address circulatory requirements.

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