Initial experience with single cannulation for venovenous extracorporeal oxygenation in adults

Ann Thorac Surg. 2010 Sep;90(3):991-5. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2010.06.017.


Purpose: Historically, venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation has required dual cannulation. A single-venous cannulation strategy may facilitate implantation and patient mobilization. Here we present our early experience with a single cannulation technique.

Description: Review of venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support using internal jugular vein insertion of the Avalon elite bicaval dual lumen catheter (Avalon Laboratories, Rancho Dominguez, CA) in 11 consecutive patients with severe respiratory failure.

Evaluation: Adequate oxygenation was obtained in all patients: 115 mm Hg PaO(2) (median), 53 to 401 mm Hg (range). Median time of support was 78 hours (range, 3 to 267 hours). No mortality was directly related to the cannulation strategy. There were three nonfatal cannulation-related events. Two patients had proximal cannula displacement requiring repositioning. One patient suffered an acute thrombosis of the cannula.

Conclusions: Our series supports single-venous cannulation in venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a promising technique. It may be an excellent alternative to current cannulation strategies in patients requiring prolonged support and specifically for those considered for a bridge-to-lung transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catheterization / methods*
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index