A multidisciplinary approach to VA ECMO cannulation in children

J Pediatr Surg. 2020 Jul;55(7):1405-1408. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2020.03.001. Epub 2020 Mar 11.


Purpose: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) supports gas exchange and circulation in critically ill patients. This study describes a multidisciplinary approach to ECMO cannulation using the expertise of pediatric surgery (PS) and interventional radiology (IR).

Material and methods: Pediatric patients (<18 years) undergoing percutaneous cannulation for peripheral veno-arterial (VA) ECMO by PS and IR from April 2017 to May 2018 were included. Cardiac patients and children cannulated by PS alone were excluded.

Results: Five patients were included in the series. Median age was 16 [12.5-17] years and 3 were female. Median ECMO arterial and venous catheter sizes were 19 [17-22] Fr and 25 [25-28] Fr, respectively. Both catheters were placed in the common femoral vessels. A 6Fr antegrade distal perfusion cannula (DPC) was also placed in the superficial femoral artery by IR at the time of cannulation. The median time from admission to procedure start was 10 [7-50] hours and the children were on ECMO for a median length of 3.2 [2.3-4.8] days. There were two episodes of bleeding. No patients had loss of limb circulation.

Conclusion: A multidisciplinary approach to peripheral VA ECMO cannulation is feasible and safe. Maintenance of limb perfusion by percutaneous placement and removal of DPC may be an advantage of this collaborative approach.

Level of evidence: IV.

Type of research: Case series.

Keywords: Cannulation; ECMO; Extracorporeal life support; Interventional radiology; Multidisciplinary; Pediatric surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / methods*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / methods*
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Femoral Artery / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male