International Perfusion Association


Timing of Initiation of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Support and Outcomes Among Patients With Cardiogenic Shock

Background: Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) provides full hemodynamic support for patients with cardiogenic shock, but optimal timing of ECMO initiation remains uncertain. We sought to determine whether earlier initiation of ECMO is associated with improved survival in cardiogenic shock.

Methods and results: We analyzed adult patients with cardiogenic shock who received venoarterial ECMO from the international Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) registry from 2009 to 2019, excluding those cannulated following an operation. Multivariable logistic regression evaluated the association between time from admission to ECMO initiation and in-hospital death. Among 8619 patients (median, 56.7 [range, 44.8-65.6] years; 33.5% women), the median duration from admission to ECMO initiation was 14 (5-32) hours. Patients who had ECMO initiated within 24 hours (n=5882 [68.2%]) differed from those who had ECMO initiated after 24 hours, with younger age, more preceding cardiac arrest, and worse acidosis. After multivariable adjustment, patients with ECMO initiated >24 hours after admission had higher risk of in-hospital death (adjusted odds ratio, 1.20 [95% CI, 1.06-1.36]; P=0.004). Each 12-hour increase in the time from admission to ECMO initiation was incrementally associated with higher adjusted in-hospital mortality rate (adjusted odds ratio, 1.06 [95% CI, 1.03-1.10]; P<0.001). The association between longer time to ECMO and worse outcomes appeared stronger in patients with lower shock severity.

Conclusions: Longer delays from admission to ECMO initiation were associated with higher a mortality rate in a large-scale, international registry. Our analysis supports optimization of door-to-support time and the avoidance of inappropriately delayed ECMO initiation.

Keywords: cardiogenic shock; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; heart assist; mechanical circulatory support; outcomes; shock.

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