Bridging to lung transplantation by extracorporeal support

Minerva Anestesiol. 2012 Feb;78(2):243-50.


Ideally, bridging patients with end stage severe respiratory failure to lung transplantation should significantly extend the pretransplant life expectancy to increase the chances to receive a suitable organ, as well as efficiently preserve the post-transplant long-term life expectancy by maintaining physiological homeostasis and avoiding multi-organ dysfunction. Various advanced strategies of extracorporeal circulation can replace at least in part the respiratory function of the lung and can potentially provide the appropriate mode and level of cardiopulmonary support for each patient's physiologic requirements. Therefore, patients on the lung transplant waiting list developing severe hypoxemic and/or hypercapnic respiratory failure can be supported for a prolonged period of time before the transplant, preserving a satisfactory post-transplant life expectancy. However, a more systematic clinical study on this issue is warranted in order to define the actual efficacy of these treatments in reducing the mortality rate on the waiting transplant list, and eventually improve the outcome of patients with end stage respiratory failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation* / methods
  • Humans
  • Lung Transplantation*