The place of extracorporeal life support in cardiogenic shock

Marc Pineton de Chambrun, Nicolas Bréchot, Alain Combes
Current Opinion in Critical Care 2020, 26 (4): 424-431

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Temporary circulatory support (TCS) devices are increasingly used as a salvage therapy for patients with refractory cardiogenic shock. The exact place of the different TCS devices in the management of cardiogenic shock patients remains unclear and intensely debated. This article provides an overview on new cardiogenic shock classification, currently available devices, place of TCS in the management of cardiogenic shock patients, and discusses the results of recent case series and trials in this setting.

RECENT FINDING: A new classification system for cardiogenic shock has recently been proposed to homogenize definitions of cardiogenic shock and appropriately differentiate patient subsets in clinical trials and registries. Although the routine use of intraaortic balloon pump is no more recommended, other TCS are increasingly used and investigated but many advantages favor the use of venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) as the first-line TCS.

SUMMARY: TCS devices have become the cornerstone of the management of patients with refractory cardiogenic shock. VA-ECMO has emerged as the first-line support system in this setting, with a growing number of accepted indications. Large adequately powered randomized controlled trials are now underway and should help to determine the respective place of different TCS devices in strategies to treat cardiogenic shock patients.

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