International Perfusion Association


A Descriptive Analysis of Hybrid Cannulated Extracorporeal Life Support

Background: Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) is pivotal for sustaining the function of failing hearts and lungs, and its utilization has risen. In cases where conventional cannulation strategies prove ineffective for providing adequate ECLS support, the implementation of an enhanced system with a third cannula may become necessary. Hybrid ECLS may be warranted in situations characterized by severe hypoxemia of the upper extremity, left ventricular congestion, and dilatation. Additionally, it may also be considered for patients requiring respiratory support or experiencing hemodynamic instability.

Method: All hybrid ECLS cases of adults at the University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, between January 2007 and December 2019 with initial triple cannulation were included. Data were collected via a retrospective review of patient records and direct export of the clinical information system.

Results: 28 out of 903 ECLS cases were initially hybrid cannulated (3.1%). The median age was 57 (48.2 to 60.8) years, and the sex was equally distributed. The in-hospital mortality of hybrid ECLS was high (67.9%). In-hospital mortality rates differ depending on the indication (ARDS: 36.4%, refractory cardiogenic shock: 88.9%, cardiopulmonary resuscitation: 100%, post-cardiotomy: 100%, others: 75%). Survivors exhibited a lower SAPS II level compared with non-survivors (20.0 (12.0 to 65.0) vs. 55.0 (45.0 to 73.0)), and the allogenic transfusion of platelet concentrate was observed to be less frequent for survivors (0.0 (0.0) vs. 1.8 (2.5) units).

Conclusion: The in-hospital mortality rate for hybrid ECLS was high. Different indications showed varying mortality rates, with survivors having lower SAPS II scores and requiring fewer platelet concentrate transfusions. These findings highlight the complexities of hybrid ECLS outcomes in different clinical scenarios and underline the importance of rigorous patient selection.

Keywords: ECLS; ECMO; extracorporeal circulation; mortality; outcome.

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