Risk factors for complete recovery of adults after weaning from veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for severe acute respiratory failure: an analysis from adult patients in the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization registry

J Intensive Care. 2020 Aug 20;8:64. doi: 10.1186/s40560-020-00480-1. eCollection 2020.


Background: As extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been widely used, the patient quality of life following ECMO termination has become an important issue as same as the patient's survival. To date, the factors affecting complete recovery of adult survivors from ECMO have not been investigated.

Methods: Data from adult patients in the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization registry who received veno-venous ECMO between 2012 and 2017 were analyzed. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted.

Results: In total, 6536 patients with 242,183 days of veno-venous ECMO were reviewed. The overall survival to discharge rate after weaning from ECMO was 89.7% (n = 5861), and 10.3% (n = 675) of the patients died during hospitalization. The discharge location varied as follows: 33.7% (n = 1976) returned home, 23.4% (n = 1369) were transferred to a referral hospital, 41.8% (n = 2447) required hospital services, and 0.6% (n = 36) were discharged to other places. The patients were divided into two groups according to the discharge location: a complete recovery group (n = 1976) and a partial recovery group (n = 3885). In the multivariate analyses, age (≥ 65 years) (odds ratio (OR) 0.72, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.59-0.87, p = 0.001), cardiac arrest before ECMO (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.60-0.96, p = 0.021), vasopressor use (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.64-0.83, p < 0.001), renal replacement therapy (OR 0.40, 95% CI 0.28-0.57, p < 0.001), ECMO-related complications (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.67-0.85, p < 0.001), and long-term ECMO support (≥ 2 weeks) (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.37-0.48, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with complete recovery.

Conclusion: Complete recovery after veno-venous ECMO support is associated with the patient's baseline condition, ECMO duration, and ECMO-related complications. Respiratory ECMO should aim to increase both the survival and the quality of life after weaning from ECMO.

Keywords: Complications; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Recovery; Survival.