We present the use of a low-resistance membrane oxygenator (Quadrox D, Maquet) in series with a pulsatile right ventricular assist device (Berlin Heart EXCOR, Berlin Heart) in a patient with biventricular support who required high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV), due to refractory acute respiratory distress syndrome associated with Cytomegalovirus pneumonia. The high mean airway pressure associated with the use of HFOV resulted in a significant negative impact on left ventricular assist device (LVAD) filling that led to a combined respiratory and metabolic acidosis and the need for vasopressor support. Oxygenator placement enabled transition to conventional ventilation and the discontinuation of vasopressor support. This case demonstrates the feasibility and safety of the use of this lung support system in patients requiring ventricular assist device (VAD) support.
Keywords: circulatory assist devices; heart failure; pediatric; pulmonary vascular resistance/hypertension.