The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in human immunodeficiency virus-positive patients: a review of a multicenter database

Perfusion. 2020 Nov;35(8):772-777. doi: 10.1177/0267659120906966. Epub 2020 Mar 6.


Aim: We chose to evaluate the survival of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation among patients with human immunodeficiency virus in a multicenter registry.

Methods: Retrospective case review of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Registry respiratory failure of all patients with human immunodeficiency virus supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Results: A total of 126 patients were included. Survival to discharge was 36%. Eight infants were supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and three (37.5%) survived to discharge. Respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was the primary indication (78%) with a 39% survival, while cardiac and extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation indications accounted for 16% and 6% of patients with survivals of 30% and 12.5%, respectively. These differences did not reach significance. There were no significant differences between survivors and non-survivors in demographic data, but non-survivors had significantly more non-human immunodeficiency virus pre-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation infections than survivors. There were no differences in other pre-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation supportive therapies, mechanical ventilator settings, or arterial blood gas results between survivors and non-survivors. The median duration of mechanical ventilation prior to cannulation was 52 (interquartile range: 13-140) hours, while the median duration of the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation exposure was 237 (interquartile range: 125-622) hours. Ventilator settings were significantly lower after 24 hours compared to pre-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation settings. Complications during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation exposure including receipt of renal replacement therapy, inotropic infusions, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation were more common among non-survivors compared to survivors. Central nervous system complications were rare.

Conclusion: Survival among patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection who receive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was less than 40%. Infections before extracorporeal membrane oxygenation cannulation occurred more often in non-survivors. The receipt of renal replacement therapy, inotropic infusions, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was associated with worse outcome.

Keywords: Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO); Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PJP); cardiopulmonary resuscitation; extracorporeal life support (ECLS); extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO); human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); inotropes; renal replacement therapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation* / methods
  • Female
  • HIV* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies