Effects of Renal Replacement Therapy in Patients Receiving Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: A Meta-Analysis

Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Oct;100(4):1485-95. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.06.018. Epub 2015 Sep 2.


The use of renal replacement therapy (RRT) in patients receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is increasing, but the effect of RRT on ECMO is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to determine whether RRT is related to higher mortality in patients receiving ECMO. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and KoreaMed and found 43 observational studies with 21,624 patients receiving ECMO and then compared inpatient mortality rates of patients receiving ECMO both with and without RRT. The risk ratio (RR) of mortality between patients receiving RRT and those not receiving RRT tended to decrease as the mortality of the group not receiving RRT increased. Among patients with RRT use rates of 30% and higher, the overall mortality rates for all patients receiving ECMO tended to decrease. We found that the increase in the RR for RRT tended to be greater the longer the initiation of RRT was delayed. We suggest that in patients receiving ECMO who have high RRT use rates, RRT may decrease mortality rates.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation*
  • Humans
  • Renal Replacement Therapy*