Veno-Arterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Support in Patients Undergoing Aortic Surgery

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Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) is an option for mechanical support for patients with postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock (PCS). However, the use of VA-ECMO in patients suffering from aortic disease with PCS has not been greatly reported. This is a retrospective review of adult patients undergoing aortic surgery who received VA-ECMO support to treat refractory PCS from August 2009 to May 2016. A total of 36 patients who underwent aortic surgery with VA-ECMO support for refractory PCS were included. Preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative variables were assessed and analyzed for possible correlation with in-hospital mortality. After a mean duration of 3.6 ± 2.9 days, 24 patients (67%) were weaned off VA-ECMO, and 18 patients (50%) were discharged from the hospital. The overall in-hospital mortality was 50%. The main cause of death was multiple organ dysfunction. The survivors had a lower level of preoperative creatine kinase-MB (CK-MB), a higher rate of antegrade cannulation, and a lower lactate level at 12 h, respectively. Relevant factors for in-hospital mortality were retrograde-flow cannulation (odds ratio [OR], 2.49), peak lactate levels greater than 20 mmol/L (OR, 5.0), and preoperative CK-MB greater than 100 IU/L (OR, 6.40). Antegrade cannulation may provide better perfusion and should be emphasized to improve outcomes. Additionally, levels of peak serum lactate and preoperative CK-MB may be relevant factors for in-hospital mortality in aortic patients with PCS.

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