Transseptal catheter decompression of the left ventricle during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Pediatr Cardiol. 2012 Jan;33(1):185-7. doi: 10.1007/s00246-011-0113-7. Epub 2011 Oct 9.


Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) can result in left-ventricular distension and the development of pulmonary edema. We present the case of a 13-year-old girl who presented with cardiogenic shock. VA-ECMO was initiated, but after 6 days, severe left-ventricular distension resulted in decreased VA-ECMO flows. With guidance by bedside transesophageal echocardiography, a percutaneous atrial transseptal cannula was placed and connected to the venous circuit, thus decompressing the left ventricle. The patient improved, was weaned from VA-ECMO 5 days later, and was discharged from the hospital. Bedside transseptal catheter insertion is an effective method of left-ventricular decompression.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Decompression, Surgical / methods*
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation*
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Heart Ventricles / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / physiopathology
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / surgery*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / surgery*