Korean J Anesthesiol. 2013 Aug; 65(2): 151–157.


We present a rare case of successful anesthetic management for a patient who had refractory hypoxia during liver transplantation (LT) with intraoperative veno-venous (VV) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support. A 49 year-old female patient underwent living donor LT. After reperfusion of the grafted liver, graft congestion and massive oozing developed. Thus it was decided to reoperate with a temporary gauze packing. However, the patient's condition deteriorated with azotemia and severe hypoxemia. VV ECMO with continuous renal replacement therapy was started 24 hours before secondary LT and maintained during secondary LT. VV ECMO was weaned 32 hours after secondary LT. This case indicates that not only after the LT but also before and during LT, VV ECMO can be a treatment option for the patient with end-stage liver disease combined with respiratory failure when there is the possibility of lung recovery.

Keywords: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, Liver transplantation, Respiratory insufficiency

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