HELLP! The Novel Use of Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy and Nitric Oxide in the Treatment of Acute Respiratory Failure in HELLP Syndrome.


East Florida


Kendall Regional Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



HELLP Syndrome, Pregnancy complications, Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy


Female Urogenital Diseases and Pregnancy Complications | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Surgery


HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, low platelets) syndrome is a rare but serious complication of pregnancy characterized by hemolytic anemia, elevated liver enzymes, and thrombocytopenia. t occurs in <1% of all pregnancies with 70% of cases developing before delivery, the majority occurring between the 27th and 37th weeks of gestation. Respiratory failure seen in HELLP syndrome clinically and radiographically appears similar to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), with presence of bilateral pulmonary opacities on imaging as well as persistent hypoxemia requiring elevated ventilator requirements. It is seen to complicate 3-10% of cases of HELLP syndrome. Pulmonary complications are theorized to occur as sequelae of the proinflammatory state induced by HELLP syndrome with endothelial dysfunction and subsequent microangiopathic hemolysis and thrombocytopenia. A robust cytokine inflammatory response similar to ARDS is seen, resulting in noncardiogenic pulmonary edema due to vasoplegia and capillary leak syndrome. We present a case of a 27-year-old uniparous female with a term pregnancy complicated by HELLP syndrome who developed respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation. Early CRRT and nitric oxide therapy were initiated, with the patient experiencing clinical and radiological improvement of respiratory function within 48 hours. We document the novel treatment of our patient’s acute respiratory failure with CRRT and nitric oxide and delve into the literature regarding its use in acute respiratory failure and ARDS in association with HELLP syndrome.

Publisher or Conference

Case Reports in Critical Care