Dennis M, McCanny P, D’Souza M, Forrest P, Burns B, Lowe DA, Gattas D, Scott S, Bannon P, Granger E, Pye R, Totaro R,

Int. J. Cardiol. 2017 Mar;231:131-136

PMID: 27986281


AIM: To describe the ECPR experience of two Australian ECMO centres, with regards to survival and neurological outcome, their predictors and complications.

METHODS: Retrospective observational study of prospectively collected data on all patients who underwent extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) at two academic ECMO referral centres in Sydney, Australia.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients underwent ECPR, 25 (68%) were for in-hospital cardiac arrests. Median age was 54 (IQR 47-58), 27 (73%) were male. Initial rhythm was ventricular fibrillation or pulseless ventricular tachycardia in 20 patients (54%), pulseless electrical activity (n=14, 38%), and asystole (n=3, 8%). 27 (73%) arrests were witnessed and 30 (81%) patients received bystander CPR. Median time from arrest to initiation of ECMO flow was 45min (IQR 30-70), and the median time on ECMO was 3days (IQR 1-6). Angiography was performed in 54% of patients, and 27% required subsequent coronary intervention (stenting or balloon angioplasty 24%). A total of 13 patients (35%) survived to hospital discharge (IHCA 33% vs. OHCA 37%). All survivors were discharged with favourable neurological outcome (Cerebral Performance Category 1 or 2). Pre-ECMO lactate level was predictive of mortality OR 1.35 (1.06-1.73, p=0.016).

CONCLUSIONS: In selected patients with refractory cardiac arrest, ECPR may provide temporary support as a bridge to intervention or recovery. We report favourable survival and neurological outcomes in one third of patients and pre-ECMO lactate levels predictive of mortality. Further studies are required to determine optimum selection criteria for ECPR.