Background and Objectives:
Cardiogenic shock (CS) is a medical emergency associated with a high mortality rate. Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) has become an accepted therapy for CS. Despite widely available data for short-term survival rates, there are only limited data available regarding long-term outcomes following successful VA-ECMO therapy.
Materials and Methods:
We analyzed the demographics, past medical history, adverse events, and outcomes of survivors who received VA-ECMO support for CS at our center from January 2012 to December 2019. Post-cardiotomy cases were excluded.
A total of 578 VA-ECMO implantations on 564 consecutive patients due to CS were identified during the study period. Successful weaning was achieved in 207 (36.7%) patients. Among the survivors, 126 (63%) patients received VA-ECMO therapy without preceding cardiac surgery during their current admission. A follow-up exceeding 12 (mean: 36 ± 20.9) months was available in a total of 55 (43.7%) survivors. The mean VA-ECMO perfusion time was 10.9 (±7.7) days with a mean intensive care unit (ICU) stay of 38.2 (±29.9) days and a mean hospital stay of 49.9 (±30.5) days. A total of 3 deaths were recorded during long-term follow-up (mean survival of 26 ± 5.3 months).
Despite the high mortality associated with VA-ECMO therapy, a long-term follow-up with an acceptably low rate of negative cardiac events can be achieved in many survivors. We observed an acceptable low rate of new cardiac events. Further evaluation, including a quality-of-life assessment and a close follow-up for rarer complications in these patients, is needed to elucidate the longer-term outcomes for survivors of invasive VA-ECMO therapy.