Venoarterial ECMO for Adults: JACC Scientific Expert Panel

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019 Feb 19;73(6):698-716. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.11.038.


Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a rescue therapy that can stabilize patients with hemodynamic compromise, with or without respiratory failure, for days or weeks. In cardiology, the main indications for ECMO include cardiac arrest, cardiogenic shock, post-cardiotomy shock, refractory ventricular tachycardia, and acute management of complications of invasive procedures. The fundamental premise underlying ECMO is that it is a bridge-to recovery, to a more durable bridge, to definitive treatment, or to decision. As a very resource- and effort-intensive intervention, ECMO should not be used on unsalvageable patients. As the use of this technology continues to evolve rapidly, it is important to understand the indications and contraindications; the logistics of ECMO initiation, management, and weaning; the general infrastructure of the program (including the challenges associated with transferring patients supported by ECMO); and ethical considerations, areas of uncertainty, and future directions.

Keywords: ECLS; cardiac arrest; cardiogenic shock.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation*
  • Heart Arrest / therapy
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / therapy
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / therapy