October 16, 2021
Extracorporeal life support has been increasingly utilized in different clinical settings to manage either critical respiratory or heart failure. Complex airway surgery with significant or even total perioperative airway obstruction represents an indication for this technique to prevent/overcome a critical period of severe hypoxaemia, hypoventilation, and/or apnea. This review summarizes the current published scientific evidence on the utility of extracorporeal respiratory support in airway obstruction associated with hypoxaemia, describes the available methods, their clinical indications, and possible limitations. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation using veno-arterial or veno-venous mode is most commonly employed in such scenarios caused by endoluminal, external, or combined obstruction of the trachea and main bronchi.
Key words: Extracorporeal circulation – Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation -ECMO – Airway surgery – Respiratory insufficiency – Airway obstruction