As utilization of veno-arterial extracorporeal life support (VA-ECLS) in treatment of cardiogenic shock (CS) continues to expand, clinical variables that guide clinicians in early recognition of myocardial recovery and therefore, improved survival, after VA-ECLS are critical. There remains a paucity of literature on early postinitiation blood pressure measurements that predict improved outcomes.
The objective of this study is to help identify early blood pressure variables associated with improved outcomes in VA-ECLS.
The authors queried the ELSO (Extracorporeal Life Support Organization) registry for cardiogenic shock patients treated with VA-ECLS or venovenous arterial ECLS between 2009 and 2020. Their inclusion criteria included treatment with VA-ECLS or venovenous arterial ECLS; absence of pre-existing durable right, left, or biventricular assist devices; no pre-ECLS cardiac arrest; and no surgical or percutaneously placed left ventricular venting devices during their ECLS runs. Their primary outcome of interest was the survival to discharge during index hospitalization.
A total of 2,400 CS patients met the authors’ inclusion criteria and had complete documentation of blood pressures. Actual mortality during index hospitalization in their cohort was 49.5% and survivors were younger and more likely to be Caucasian, intubated for >30 hours pre-ECLS initiation, and had a favorable baseline SAVE (Survival After Veno-arterial ECMO) score (P < 0.05 for all). Multivariable regression analyses adjusting for SAVE score, age, ECLS flow at 4 hours, and race showed that every 10-mm Hg increase in baseline systolic blood pressure (HR: 0.92 [95% CI: 0.89-0.95]; P < 0.001), and baseline pulse pressure (HR: 0.88 [95% CI: 0.84-0.91]; P < 0.001) at 24 hours was associated with a statistically significant reduction in mortality.
Early (within 24 hours) improvements in pulse pressure and systolic blood pressure from baseline are associated with improved survival to discharge among CS patients treated with VA-ECLS.