Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation cannula malposition in the azygos vein in an infant

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Misplacement of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) venous cannula in the azygos vein has previously been described only in newborns.


For the first time, we report an aberrant ECMO cannula placement in the azygos vein in a child outside neonatal period. History of chronic lung disease and ligation of persistent ductus arteriosus leading to elevated right ventricular pressure was the potential risk factor.


This rare complication should be considered whenever the patient has inadequate venous return on ECMO and it can be easily ruled out with a lateral chest radiograph.

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