Postcardiotomy VA-ECMO for refractory cardiogenic shock

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Abstract

Postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock (PCCS) is a rare but catastrophic syndrome that can occur following separation from cardiopulmonary bypass or at any time during the immediate postoperative course. The management of PCCS varies between clinicians, institutions and countries. The available evidence to guide this practice is limited. In their systematic review and meta-analysis, Khorsandi and colleagues report a synthesis of case-series pertinent to the use of venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) for PCCS. Whilst we acknowledge the potential survival benefit for carefully selected patients for what is ordinarily a condition with high mortality, we wish to comment on several aspects of the study in the context of its application to clinical practice.

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