Background: The prognosis of hematologic malignancies has improved over the past three decades. However, the prognosis in hematologic malignancies with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome has remained poor. Initial reports regarding the utility of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in hematologic malignancies have been controversial, with limited evaluations of acute leukemia patients supported by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of patients with acute leukemia who developed acute respiratory distress syndrome requiring veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support at our facility from July 2015 through August 2017. Results: Four cases of acute myelogenous leukemia with respiratory failure and acute respiratory distress syndrome treated with veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation while undergoing induction chemotherapy were identified. All patients completed induction therapy with addition of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support, with two patients dying secondary to their acute leukemia and the other two surviving to allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Overall, 75% (three of four) survived to decannulation with a 1-year survival rate following extracorporeal membrane oxygenation of 50% (two of four). Conclusion: Currently, the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in patients with hematologic malignancies who develop severe acute respiratory distress syndrome remains controversial. Although extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in post-allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant is associated with poorer outcomes, our data suggest that salvage extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support is a viable option to manage moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome while completing therapeutic chemotherapy and following in the peri-induction phase of acute leukemia.
- acute myelogenous leukemia
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- extracorporeal membrane oxygenation