|Publication||1Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia; Interventional Pulmonary Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.|
The use of transtracheal oxygen therapy in the management of severe hepatopulmonary syndrome after liver transplantation
Hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a unique form of hypoxemia found in patients who have chronic liver disease. The definitive treatment for HPS is liver transplantation (LT), with resolution of hypoxemia occurring weeks to months after LT. Because there has been an increase in the use of LT to treat severe HPS (PaO2 ≤ 50 mm Hg), alternatives to oxygen administration via nasal cannula (NC) or face mask must be examined to facilitate early postoperative mobilization and to minimize postoperative pulmonary complications. Transtracheal oxygen (TTO) therapy is a practical alternative that has been shown to improve oxygen requirements, facilitate patient mobility, and improve exercise tolerance in advanced lung disease. In this case series, we describe the use of TTO in the management of hypoxemia associated with severe HPS after LT. A transition from NC to TTO resulted in a significant reduction in oxygen requirements, early postoperative mobilization and discharge from the hospital, and a subsequent expedited liberation from supplemental oxygen. This case series emphasizes the potential utility of TTO therapy as an alternative to conventional oxygen delivery modalities in the management of severe HPS after LT.