Variables associated with in-hospital and postdischarge outcomes after postcardiotomy extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: Netherlands Heart Registration Cohort

Silvia Mariani*, Bas C T van Bussel, Justine M Ravaux, Maaike M Roefs, Maria Elena De Piero, Michele Di Mauro, Anne Willers, Patrique Segers, Thijs Delnoij, Iwan C C van der Horst, Jos Maessen, Roberto Lorusso, Netherlands Heart Registration Cardiothoracic Surgery Registration Committee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock has been increasingly used without concomitant mortality reduction. This study aims to investigate determinants of in-hospital and postdischarge mortality in patients requiring postcardiotomy ECMO in the Netherlands.

METHODS: The Netherlands Heart Registration collects nationwide prospective data from cardiac surgery units. Adults receiving intraoperative or postoperative ECMO included in the register from January 2013 to December 2019 were studied. Survival status was established through the national Personal Records Database. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to investigate determinants of in-hospital (3 models) and 12-month postdischarge mortality (4 models). Each model was developed to target specific time points during a patient's clinical course.

RESULTS: Overall, 406 patients (67.2% men, median age, 66.0 years [interquartile range, 55.0-72.0 years]) were included. In-hospital mortality was 51.7%, with death occurring in a median of 5 days (interquartile range, 2-14 days) after surgery. Hospital survivors (n = 196) experienced considerable rates of pulmonary infections, respiratory failure, arrhythmias, and deep sternal wound infections during a hospitalization of median 29 days (interquartile range, 17-51 days). Older age (odds ratio [OR], 1.02; 95% CI, 1.0-1.04) and preoperative higher body mass index (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.02-1.14) were associated with in-hospital death. Within 12 months after discharge, 35.1% of hospital survivors (n = 63) died. Postoperative renal failure (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.6-4.9), respiratory failure (OR, 3.6; 95% CI, 1.3-9.9), and re-thoracotomy (OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.3-6.5) were associated with 12-month postdischarge mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: In-hospital and postdischarge mortality after postcardiotomy ECMO in adults remains high in the Netherlands. ECMO support in patients with higher age and body mass index, which drive associations with higher in-hospital mortality, should be carefully considered. Further observations suggest that prevention of re-thoracotomies, renal failure, and respiratory failure are targets that may improve postdischarge outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1127-1137.e14
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
Early online date7 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Acute heart failure
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Extracorporeal life support
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Mechanical circulatory support
  • Postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock


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