Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for treatment of cardiac failure in adult patients

Xin-jin Luo, Wei Wang, Sheng-shou Hu, Han-song Sun, Hua-wei Gao, Cun Long, Yun-hu Song, Jian-ping Xu
Interactive Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery 2009, 9 (2): 296-300
This report reviews our experience in venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support treatment in adult patients with cardiac failure, as well as analysis of the risk factors of early mortality. From February 2005 to June 2008, 45 patients undergoing cardiogenic shock required temporary ECMO support. They were divided into three groups: post-cardiotomy (n=31) and post-transplantation (n=5) heart failure, decompensated heart failure (n=9). ECMO implantation was performed through the femoral vessels, or axillary artery, or through the right atrium and ascending aorta. Average support duration was 126.7+/-104.3 h. Twenty-seven patients could be successfully weaned from support (60%); additionally, five were bridged to heart transplantation. The in-hospital mortality was 42% (19/45). Twenty-six patients (58%) could be successfully discharged. Additional intra-aortic balloon pumps were used in 11 patients, and six of them were successfully discharged. The mortality rate was obviously high for patients with acute renal failure treated by continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) under ECMO support (7/9 patients). The dominant mode of death was multisystem organ failure (9/19). ECMO offers effective cardiopulmonary support in adults. The better outcome requires a multidisciplinary approach to prevent complications unique to itself and limit organ injury before and during this support.

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