Extracorporeal life support for acute respiratory distress syndrome due to severe Legionella pneumonia.


Journal Article

PURPOSE: Legionella is a common cause of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and is second only to Pneumococcal pneumonia as a cause of severe CAP that requires treatment in an intensive care unit. We report a case series of patients with severe Legionella pneumonia who developed the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), failed to improve with mechanical ventilation alone and required extracorporeal life support (ECLS). METHODS: We performed a retrospective study of all patients treated with ECLS at our institution for severe ARDS as a result of Legionella pneumonia from 1994 to 2006. RESULTS: A total of twelve patients with a diagnosis of Legionella pneumonia were treated with veno-venous (VV) ECLS over this time period. Nine of these twelve (75%) were successfully treated and weaned off ECLS and 8 patients (67%) survived to hospital discharge. Two (13%) died of multisystem organ failure, one patient (8%) died from global hypoxic encephalopathy and one (8%) was weaned from ECLS, but ultimately died of liver failure. Renal failure requiring some form of continuous dialysis occurred in seven patients (58%) and the survival for this sub-set of patients was 43%. CONCLUSIONS: Extracorporeal life support for severe ARDS associated with Legionella pneumonia is an effective treatment option when mechanical ventilation fails, especially when introduced early in the course.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bryner, B; Miskulin, J; Smith, C; Cooley, E; Grams, R; Bartlett, R; Annich, G; Mychaliska, GB

Published Date

  • January 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 29 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 39 - 43

PubMed ID

  • 23863490

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23863490

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1477-111X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0267659113497229


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England