Venovenous extracorporeal life support in patients with HIV infection and Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia

Gerry Capatos, Christopher R. Burke, Mark T. Ogino, Roberto R. Lorusso, Thomas V. Brogan, D. Michael McMullan, Heidi J. Dalton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aim: As experience with extracorporeal life support (ECLS) increases, indications for its use have expanded to diverse patient populations, including those with HIV infection. Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP) is a particularly devastating complication of HIV infections. The objective of this study was to review ECLS use in HIV-positive patients, with particular emphasis on those with concomitant PJP infection. Methods: All patients were treated by the same ECLS team, consisting of an ECLS specialist intensivist, cardiothoracic surgeon and allied medical professionals at three healthcare institutions. The same ECLS protocol was utilized for all patients during the study period. A retrospective review was performed for all HIV-positive patients placed on ECLS from May 2011 to October 2014. Demographic, clinical, ECLS and complication data were reviewed to identify risk factors for death. Results: A total of 22 HIV-positive patients received ECLS therapy during the study period. All patients were supported with venovenous ECLS and overall survival to hospital discharge was 68%. Survival amongst the PJP positive cohort was 60%. Non-survivors were more likely to require inotropic medications on ECLS (100% non-survivors vs. 46.7% survivors, p=0.022) and had a longer total duration of ECLS (13 days non-survivors vs. 7 days survivors, p=0.011). No difference was observed between PJP-positive and PJP-negative patients with regard to demographic data, complication rates or survival. Conclusion: ECLS is a viable treatment option in carefully selected HIV-positive patients, including those with severe disease as manifested by PJP infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-437
Number of pages5
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018


  • AIDS

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