Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO): Incidence, risks and survivals

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Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is frequently observed after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) decannulation; however, these issues have not been investigated well in the past.


Retrospective chart review was performed to identify post-ECMO SIRS phenomenon, defined by exhibiting 2/3 of the following criteria: fever, leukocytosis, and escalation of vasopressors. The patients were divided into 2 groups: patients with documented infections (Group I) and patients with true SIRS (Group TS) without any evidence of infection. Survival and pre-, intra- and post-ECMO risk factors were analyzed.


Among 62 ECMO survivors, 37 (60%) patients developed the post-ECMO SIRS phenomenon, including Group I (n = 22) and Group TS (n = 15). The 30-day survival rate of Group I and TS was 77% and 100%, respectively (p = 0.047), although risk factors were identical.


SIRS phenomenon after ECMO decannulation commonly occurs. Differentiating between the similar clinical presentations of SIRS and infection is important and will impact clinical outcomes.

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