Extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal and low-frequency positive-pressure ventilation. Improvement in arterial oxygenation with reduction of risk of pulmonary barotrauma in patients with adult respiratory distress syndrome

Chest. 1993 Sep;104(3):889-98. doi: 10.1378/chest.104.3.889.


Mortality of the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) remains high and could be increased by pulmonary barotrauma induced by positive-pressure mechanical ventilation. Extracorporeal CO2 removal combined with low-frequency positive-pressure ventilation (ECCO2R-LFPPV) has been proposed to reduce lung injury while supporting respiratory failure. Use of this technique in 23 patients resulted in the following: a dramatic and highly significant increase of PaO2 obtained rapidly with ECCO2R-LFPPV, allowing subsequent reduction in inspired oxygen fraction; a reduction of the risk of barotrauma evidenced by a significant decrease in pressures and insufflated volumes; a survival rate of 50 percent. Bleeding was the only complication related to the technique and was the cause of death in four patients. This method allowed improvement in gas exchange along with reduction of the risk of barotrauma caused by the ventilator.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Barotrauma / etiology
  • Barotrauma / prevention & control*
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood*
  • Extracorporeal Circulation* / adverse effects
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Lung Injury*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration* / adverse effects
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / blood
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / therapy*


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oxygen