A retrospective cohort analysis of percutaneous versus side-graft perfusion techniques for veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in patients with refractory cardiogenic shock

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This study was designed to compare vascular complications and the outcomes of ultrasound (US)-guided percutaneous cannulation with distal perfusion catheter (PC-DP) and arterial side-graft perfusion (SGP) techniques in patients who require veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) support for refractory cardiogenic shock (RCS).


We conducted a retrospective, observational cohort study of consequtive patients with RCS treated with VA-ECMO at a single transplant center from March 2010 until August 2015. Overall, 148 patients underwent VA-ECMO for RCS (99 men, aged 56.6 ± 12.0 years; BSA, 1.85 ± 0.19). Patients were categorized based on VA-ECMO perfusion technique into PC-DP via femoral artery and SGP via axillary/femoral artery groups.


The median duration of VA-ECMO support was 5 days (range, 8 hours–80 days). Hospital mortality (PC-DP group, 54.7%; SGP group, 64.4%; p=0.23) and overall ECMO survival (PC-DP group, 36.9%; SGP group, 32.2%; p=0.47) was similar between the groups. There were no significant between-group differences in the rate of acute limb ischemia (PC-DP group, 4/75, 5.3%; SGP group, 2/73, 2.7%; p=0.68). However, the rate of surgical/cannulation site bleeding (PC-DP, 9/75 (12%) vs SGP, 18/73 (24.7%), p=0.05) and hyperperfusion syndrome (PC-DP, 2/75 (2.7%) vs SGP, 22/73 (30.1%),p=0.001) were higher in the SGP group than in the PC-DP group.


We observed no significant difference in major vascular complications or survival between patients who underwent the PC-DP technique and those who underwent arterial SGP.

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