Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a rescue of intractable ventricular fibrillation and bridge to heart transplantation

Eur J Heart Fail. 2010 Mar;12(3):301-4. doi: 10.1093/eurjhf/hfq012.


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) systems have undergone rapid technological improvements and are now feasible options for medium-term support of severe cardiac or pulmonary failure. Intractable ventricular arrhythmia is a rare but well-established indication for heart transplantation. We report a case of persistent ventricular fibrillation (VF) that was rescued by insertion of peripheral veno-arterial ECMO during cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which provided support for 30 h of continuous VF and subsequently permitted urgent heart transplantation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Defibrillators, Implantable
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation*
  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Heart-Assist Devices
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Failure
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / therapy*