Modifiable Risk Factors and Mortality From Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Strokes in Patients Receiving Venoarterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: Results From the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Registry

Sung-Min Cho*, Joe Canner, Giovanni Chiarini, Kate Calligy, Giorgio Caturegli, Peter Rycus, Ryan P. Barbaro, Joseph Tonna, Roberto Lorusso, Ahmet Kilic, Chun Woo Choi, Wendy Ziai, Romergryko Geocadin, Glenn Whitman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: Although acute brain injury is common in patients receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, little is known regarding the mechanism and predictors of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. We aimed to determine the risk factors and outcomes of each ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke in patients with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support. Design: Retrospective analysis. Setting: Data reported to the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization by 310 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation centers from 2013 to 2017. Patients: Patients more than 18 years old supported with a single run of venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: Of 10,342 venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 401 (3.9%) experienced ischemic stroke and 229 (2.2%) experienced hemorrhagic stroke. Reported acute brain injury during venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation decreased from 10% to 6% in 5 years. Overall in-hospital mortality was 56%, but rates were higher when ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke were present (76% and 86%, respectively). In multivariable analysis, lower pre-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation pH (adjusted odds ratio, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.09-0.49;p<0.001), higher PO(2)on first day of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (adjusted odds ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00-1.02;p= 0.009), higher rates of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation circuit mechanical failure (adjusted odds ratio, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.02-1.74;p= 0.03), and renal replacement therapy (adjusted odds ratio, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.14-1.94;p= 0.004) were independently associated with ischemic stroke. Female sex (adjusted odds ratio, 1.61; 95% CI, 1.16-2.22;p= 0.004), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation duration (adjusted odds ratio, 1.01; 95% CI, 1.00-1.03;p= 0.02), renal replacement therapy (adjusted odds ratio, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.30-2.52;p<0.001), and hemolysis (adjusted odds ratio, 1.87; 95% CI, 1.11-3.16;p= 0.02) were independently associated with hemorrhagic stroke. Conclusions: Despite a decrease in the prevalence of acute brain injury in recent years, mortality rates remain high when ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes are present. Future research is necessary on understanding the timing of associated risk factors to promote prevention and management strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E897-E905
Number of pages9
JournalCritical Care Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • ECMO
  • brain death
  • brain injury
  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • hemorrhagic stroke
  • ischemic stroke

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