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Eur Heart J Case Rep . Percutaneous debulking of tricuspid valve endocarditis in severe COVID-19 pneumonia after prolonged venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation with right-ventricular support: a case series

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  • Eur Heart J Case Rep . Percutaneous debulking of tricuspid valve endocarditis in severe COVID-19 pneumonia after prolonged venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation with right-ventricular support: a case series


    Eur Heart J Case Rep


    . 2022 Oct 8;7(2):ytac409.
    doi: 10.1093/ehjcr/ytac409. eCollection 2023 Feb.
    Percutaneous debulking of tricuspid valve endocarditis in severe COVID-19 pneumonia after prolonged venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation with right-ventricular support: a case series


    Kara Morton 1 , Brittain Heindl 2 , Samuel K McElwee 2 , Silvio Litovsky 2 , Mustafa I Ahmed 2 , Stephen Clarkson 2



    Affiliations

    Abstract

    Background: Over the past 2 years, the utilization of venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) has increased. While supporting respiratory function, VV-ECMO requires large-bore indwelling venous cannulas, which risk bleeding and infections, including endocarditis.
    Case summary: We describe two adults hospitalized for COVID-19 pneumonia who developed ARDS and right-ventricular failure, requiring VV-ECMO and ProtekDuo cannulation. After over 100 days with these devices, both patients developed tricuspid valve vegetations. Our first patient was decannulated from ECMO and discharged, but re-presented with a segmental pulmonary embolism and tricuspid mass. The Inari FlowTriver system was chosen to percutaneously remove both the tricuspid mass and pulmonary thromboembolism. Pathological examination of the mass demonstrated Candida albicans endocarditis in the setting of Candida fungemia. Our second patient developed a tricuspid valve vegetation which was also removed with the FlowTriever system. Pathological examination demonstrated endocarditis consistent with Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the setting of Pseudomonas bacteremia. Both patients experienced resolution of fungemia and bacteremia after percutaneous vegetation removal. After ECMO decannulation and percutaneous debulking, both patients experienced prolonged hospital stays for ventilator weaning and were eventually discharged with supplemental oxygen.
    Discussion: VV-ECMO and right-ventricular support devices are invasive and create various risks, including bloodstream infection and infective endocarditis. Percutaneous debulking of valvular vegetations associated with these right-sided indwelling devices may be an effective means of infection source control. It is unclear whether prolonged use of VV-ECMO provides a mortality benefit in COVID-19 ARDS.

    Keywords: Case series; Coronavirus-19 (COVID-19); Inari FlowTriever; Percutaneous debulking; Right-ventricular assist device; Tricuspid valve endocarditis; Venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO).

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