JOURNAL ARTICLE

Short-term mechanical circulatory support by veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in the management of cardiogenic shock and end-stage heart failure

Jasper J Brugts, Kadir Caliskan
Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy 2014, 12 (2): 145-53
24417434
Despite modern treatment modalities, cardiogenic shock is associated with a very high risk of mortality and morbidity. The short- and long-term survival in patients with cardiogenic shock or end-stage heart failure has improved considerably by recent technological advances in short and long-term mechanical circulatory support devices. For short-term mechanical support, veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) has been increasingly used as bridge-to-decision and bridge-to-recovery in cardiogenic shock patients. Long-term mechanical circulatory support devices such as left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are widely available and play a central role in bridge-to-transplantation in those eligible for heart transplantation (HTX) and as destination therapy (DT) in those not eligible for heart transplantation. Nevertheless, patients with critical cardiogenic shock show a deleterious outcome after LVAD-implantation or HTX with higher mortality, more complications and higher burden on financial resources. These considerations underscore the importance of optimal timing and appropriate patient selection for eventual LVAD therapy. The current report will focus on the immediate management of patients with cardiogenic shock with inotropes, discuss the use of IABP and focus mainly on pivotal choices to be made in the period spanned by short term mechanical circulatory support in patients with refractory cardiogenic shock.

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