Efficacy of Veno-Arterial Extracorporeal Life Support in Adult Patients with Refractory Cardiogenic Shock

E.R. Kurniawati*, S.M.J. van Kuijk, N.P.A. Vranken, J.G. Maessen, P.W. Weerwind

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background This study aimed to describe the efficacy of veno-arterial extracorporeal life support (VA-ECLS) through early lactate clearance and pH restoration and assess the potential association with 30-day survival following hospital discharge.Methods Data of patients receiving VA-ECLS for at least 24 h were retrospectively compiled. Blood lactate levels, liver enzymes, and kidney parameters prior to VA-ECLS initiation and at 2, 8, 14, 20, and 26 h of support had been recorded as part of clinical care. The primary outcome was 30-day survival.Results Of 77 patients who underwent VA-ECLS for refractory cardiogenic shock, 44.2% survived. For all non-survivors, ECLS was initiated after eight hours (p = .008). Blood pH was significantly higher in survivors compared to non-survivors at all time points except for pre-ECLS. Lactate levels were significantly lower in survivors (median range 1.95-4.70 vs 2.90-6.70 mmol/L for survivors vs non-survivors, respectively). Univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that blood pH at 24 h (OR 0.045, 95% CI: 0.005-0.448 for pH < 7.35, p = .045) and lactate concentration pre-ECLS (OR 0.743, 95% CI: 0.590-0.936, p = .012) were reliable predictors for 30-day survival. Further, ischemic cardiogenic shock as ECLS indication showed 36.2% less lactate clearance compared to patients with other indications such as arrhythmia, postcardiotomy, and ECPR.Conclusion ECLS showed to be an effective treatment in reducing blood lactate levels in patients suffering from refractory cardiogenic shock in which the outcome is influenced by the initial lactate level and pH in the early phase of the intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Article number11795484221113988
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Medicine Insights: Circulatory, Respiratory and Pulmonary Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • refractory cardiogenic shock
  • extracorporeal life support
  • oxygen delivery
  • lactate
  • lactate clearance
  • pH
  • 30-day survival
  • ECMO
  • TOOL


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