Long-term survival and major outcomes in post-cardiotomy extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for adult patients in cardiogenic shock

Paolo Meani*, Matteo Matteucci, Federica Jiritano, Dario Fina, Francesco Panzeri, Giuseppe M. Raffa, Mariusz Kowalewski, Nuccia Morici, Giovanna Viola, Alice Sacco, Fabrizio Oliva, Amal Alyousif, Sam Heuts, Martijn Gilbers, Rick Schreurs, Jos Maessen, Roberto Lorusso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the veno-arterial (VA) configuration is an established method for the treatment of refractory cardiogenic shock. Such a condition characterizes the postoperative course of approximatively 1% of cardiac surgery patients. Although some studies have reported ECMO-related short-term results, little is known about the long-term outcomes of VA-ECMO therapy in the post-cardiotomy setting. Therefore, an extensive literature search was conducted regarding articles published after 1990 reporting postoperative ECMO use. PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science were searched for sources. In-hospital mortality was high in post-cardiotomy VA-ECMO patients, ranging from 24.8% to 52%. Long-term results were poorly reported. However, based on the limited information available, hospital survivors showed a favorable outcome, with improvement in overall clinical condition, quality of life and limited hospital readmission for cardiac-related events. To conclude, in-hospital outcome in post-cardiotomy ECMO is often unfavorable, post-discharge results show satisfactory condition, with stable improvement of overall patient clinical status and low rate of hospital readmission and cardiac-related adverse events. Data reporting is, however, scarce and hence new and detailed studies are still warranted to investigate such aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-122
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • cardiogenic shock
  • heart failure
  • cardiac surgery
  • LIFE

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