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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Volume 7, April 2012, Pages 7-36.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1186/1749-8090-7-36. Copyright © BioMed Central


Placement of the Avalon Elite bicaval dual lumen cannula for venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) via the internal jugular vein requires precise positioning of the cannula tip in the inferior vena cava with echocardiography or fluoroscopy guidance. Correct guidewire placement is clearly the key first step in assuring proper advancement of the cannula. We report a case of unexpected wire migration into the right ventricle at the time of final cannula advancement, resulting in right ventricular rupture and tamponade. Transesophageal echocardiography is an important monitoring modality for appropriate placement of the VV-ECMO guidewire and Avalon cannula, and in particular, for early identification of potential complications.

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