Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation after liver transplantation in a patient with hepatopulmonary syndrome and an atrial septal defect

Academic Article


  • Introduction: Hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a rare complication of liver cirrhosis that may result in refractory hypoxemia even after liver transplantation. ECMO has been rarely used after liver transplantation or in patients with HPS. Methods: We present a patient with HPS who underwent liver transplantation and developed refractory hypoxemia requiring postoperative ECMO support at our institution. During our review of literature we found nine reports of ECMO use for cardiorespiratory failure after liver transplant in the past. Results: Our patient had persistent intrapulmonary shunting and developed severe respiratory failure after liver transplant. Additionally, the patient was found to have an atrial septal defect (ASD) and required percutaneous closure while receiving ECMO support. Literature review suggests that survival among these patients who were supported with ECMO after liver transplant was 50% and catastrophic bleeding complications were described in only one report. Conclusions: With careful selection of post-liver transplant patients and judicious management of anticoagulation, ECMO can be safely instituted in this cohort.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sharma NS; Wille KM; Guzman ED
  • Start Page

  • 170
  • End Page

  • 172
  • Volume

  • 38
  • Issue

  • 3