A1 Journal article – refereed
Meta-Analysis of the Outcome After Postcardiotomy Venoarterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation in Adult Patients

List of Authors: Biancari F, Perrotti A, Dalén M, Guerrieri M, Fiore A, Reichart D, Dell'Aquila AM, Gatti G, Ala-Kokko T, Kinnunen EM, Tauriainen T, Chocron S, Airaksinen JKE, Ruggieri VG, Brascia D
Publication year: 2018
Journal: Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Journal name in source: Journal of cardiothoracic and vascular anesthesia
Journal acronym: J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth
Volume number: 32
Issue number: 3
Number of pages: 8
ISSN: 1532-8422



This study was planned to pool existing data on outcome and to evaluate the efficacy of postcardiotomy venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) in adult patients.


Systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis.


Multi-institutional study.


Adult patients with acute heart failure immediately after cardiac surgery.


VA-ECMO after cardiac surgery. Studies evaluating only heart transplant patients were excluded from this analysis.

Measurements and Main Results

A literature search was performed to identify studies published since 2000. Thirty-one studies reported on 2,986 patients (mean age, 58.1 years) who required postcardiotomy VA-ECMO. The weaning rate from VA-ECMO was 59.5% and hospital survival was 36.1% (95% CI 31.5-40.8). The pooled rate of reoperation for bleeding was 42.9%, major neurological event 11.3%, lower limb ischemia 10.8%, deep sternal wound infection/mediastinitis 14.7%, and renal replacement therapy 47.1%. The pooled mean number of transfused red blood cell units was 17.7 (95% CI 13.3-22.1). The mean stay in the intensive care unit was 13.3 days (95% CI 10.2-16.4). Survivors were significantly younger (mean, 55.7 v 63.6 years, p = 0.015) and their blood lactate level before starting VA-ECMO was lower (mean, 7.7 v 10.7 mmol/L, p = 0.028) than patients who died. One-year survival rate was 30.9% (95% CI 24.3-37.5).


Pooled data showed that VA-ECMO may salvage one-third of patients unresponsive to any other resuscitative treatment after adult cardiac surgery.

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Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 10:29