The main objective of this study was to describe the current mechanical ventilation (MV) settings during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome (P-ARDS) in six European centers. This is a retrospective observational cohort study performed in six European centers from January 2009 to December 2019. Chil-dren > 1month to 18years supported with ECMO for refractory P-ARDS were included. Collected data were as follows: patients’ pre-ECMO medical condition, pre-ECMO adjunctive therapies for P-ARDS, pre-ECMO and during ECMO MV settings on day (D) 1, D3, D7, and D14 of ECMO, use of adjunctive therapies during ECMO, duration of ECMO, pediatric intensive care unit length of stay, and survival. A total of 255 patients with P-ARDS were included. The multivariate analysis showed that PEEP on D1 (OR = 1.13, 95% CI [1.03–1.24], p = 0.01); D3 (OR = 1.17, 95% CI [1.06–1.29], p = 0.001); and D14 (OR = 1.21, 95% CI [1.05–1.43], p = 0.02) and DP on D7 were significantly associated with higher odds of mortality (OR = 0.82, 95% CI [0.71–0.92], p = 0.001). Moreover, DP on D1 above 15 cmH2O (OR 2.23, 95% CI (1.09–4.71), p = 0.03) and native lung FiO2 above 60% on D14 (OR 10.36, 95% CI (1.51–116.15), p = 0.03) were significantly associated with higher odds of mortality.
Conclusion: MV settings during ECMO for P-ARDS varied among centers; however, use of high PEEP levels during ECMO was associated with higher odds of mortality as well as a DP above 15 cmH2O and a native lung FiO2 above 60% on D14 of ECMO.