Quality of life following adult veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for acute respiratory distress syndrome: a systematic review

E. R. Kurniawati*, V. G. H. Rutjens, N. P. A. Vranken, T. S. R. Delnoij, R. Lorusso, I. C. C. van der Horst, J. G. Maessen, P. W. Weerwind

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)


Background Veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) has been used successfully for the past decade in adult patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) refractory to conventional ventilatory support. However, knowledge of the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in VV-ECMO patients is still limited. Thus, this study aimed to provide a comprehensive overview of the HRQoL following VV-ECMO support in ARDS patients. Methods A systematic search was performed on PubMed and Web of Science databases from January 1st, 2009 to October 19th, 2020. Studies reporting on HRQoL following VV-ECMO for ARDS in adults were included. Two authors independently selected studies, extracted data, and assessed methodological quality. Results Eight studies were eligible for inclusion, consisting of seven observational studies and one randomized controlled trial (total N = 441). All eight studies had a quantitative design and reported 265 VV-ECMO survivors to have a reduced HRQoL compared to a generally healthy population. Follow-up time varied between six months to three years. Additionally, only four studies (total N = 335) compared the HRQoL of VV-ECMO (N = 159) to conventionally treated survivors (N = 176), with one study showing a significantly better HRQoL in VV-ECMO survivors, while three studies were stating comparable HRQoL across groups. Notably, most survivors in these studies appeared to experience varying degrees of anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Conclusions ARDS survivors supported by VV-ECMO have a decline in HRQoL and suffered from physical and psychological impairments. This HRQoL reduction is comparable or even better to the HRQoL in conventionally treated ARDS survivors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2123-2135
Number of pages13
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Adult
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Veno-venous extracorporeal life support
  • Veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • ECMO
  • CARE
  • ARDS

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