Factors associated with mortality risk in critical care patients treated with veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

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To identify factors associated with mortality in patients treated with veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) and to validate the discrimination of the risk assessment tools to predict mortality.


VA-ECMO is a rescue therapy for patients with life-threatening cardiac failure, but mortality remains high.


In this retrospective study, we reviewed the medical records of adult patients who underwent VA-ECMO in an intensive care unit of a university hospital, between 2009 and 2013.


VA-ECMO was performed in 89 patients, with a median duration of 116 h. The survival rate until hospital discharge was 27%. The pre-ECMO simplified acute physiology score (SAPS) II and diabetes mellitus were significant predictors of hospital mortality. The optimal prognostic SAPS II score was 81 overall, 80 in patients with diabetes, and 84 in those without diabetes.


Our findings indicate that high pre-ECMO SAPS II score and diabetes are risk factors for mortality in patients who undergo VA-ECMO.

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