Right heart failure (RHF) is a common, yet difficult to manage, complication of severe acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) that is associated with increased mortality. Reports of the use of percutaneous mechanical circulatory support devices for concurrent right heart and respiratory failure are limited. This series describes the percutaneous cannulation of the pulmonary artery for conversion from veno-venous to veno-pulmonary artery return ECMO in 21 patients who developed secondary RHF. All patients cannulated between May 2019 and September 2021 were included. Either a 19 or 21 French venous cannula was placed percutaneously into the pulmonary artery via the internal jugular or subclavian vein, providing a total of 821 days of support (median 23 [4-71] days per patient) with flows up to 6 L/min. Five patients underwent cannulation at the bedside, with the remainder performed in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. Pulmonary artery cannulation occurred after 12 [8.5-23.5] days of ECMO support. Vasoactive infusion requirements decreased significantly within 24 hours of pulmonary artery cannula placement (p = 0.0004). Nonetheless, 75% of these patients expired after a median of 12 [4-63] days of support, with three patients found to have had significant pericardial effusions peri-Arrest. This cannulation technique may be an effective alternative to veno-Arterial ECMO cannulation or the placement of a dual-lumen cannula for the treatment of RHF.
- acute respiratory distress syndrome
- extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
- percutaneous RVAD
- right heart failure