Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in the management of granulomatosis with polyangiitis

Academic Article


  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA, also known as Wegener's granulomatosis) is a type of systematic vasculitis that primarily involves the lung and kidney. Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) and associated acute respiratory failure are uncommon but devastating complications of GPA. Experience in using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to manage DAH caused by GPA is limited. We report two GPA patients with DAH that were successfully managed using ECMO support. Examining 13 cases identified in the literature and two of our own, we observed that most patients experienced rapid deterioration in respiratory function in conjunction with a precedent respiratory infection. All 15 patients received veno-venous ECMO support. The median duration of ECMO support was 11 days (interquartile range: 7.5–20.75 days). Bleeding was the most common complication, seen in four (26.7%) cases. All patients were successfully weaned off ECMO after a median length of hospital stay of 42 days (interquartile range: 30–78 days). We demonstrated that the use of ECMO is a reasonable and effective support option in the management of GPA patients with DAH. The risk of bleeding is high but maybe reduced using a lower anticoagulation goal.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yin K; March RJ; Hoopes CW; Balk RA; Raman J; Lateef OB; Tiwari A; Bak E; Karlson KJ; Edwards NM
  • Start Page

  • 743
  • End Page

  • 747
  • Volume

  • 36
  • Issue

  • 2