Cardiac decompression on extracorporeal life support: a review and discussion of the literature

ASAIO J. Nov-Dec 2013;59(6):547-53. doi: 10.1097/MAT.0b013e3182a4b2f6.


Extracorporeal life support is a worldwide expanding technology for patients in critical cardiogenic shock. The device is usually attached to the femoral vessels using percutaneous techniques. Despite sufficient extracorporeal circulatory support, an unclear number of patients develop high end-diastolic pressures leading to left ventricular distension and pulmonary edema, and ventricular thrombus formation may evolve. This article discusses the strategies to prevent ventricular distension by conservative, interventional, and surgical means, also illustrated by case presentations.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decompression, Surgical
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / adverse effects*
  • Heart Ventricles / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / etiology*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / surgery*