Gender and the Outcome of Postcardiotomy Veno-arterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2022 Jun;36(6):1678-1685. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2021.05.015. Epub 2021 May 15.


Objective: There is a paucity of sex-specific data on patients' postcardiotomy venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO). The present study sought to assess this issue in a multicenter study.

Design: Retrospective, propensity score-matched analysis of an international registry.

Setting: Multicenter study, tertiary university hospitals.

Participants: Data on adult patients undergoing postcardiotomy VA-ECMO.

Measurements and main results: Between January 2010 and March 2018, patients treated with postcardiotomy VA-ECMO at 17 cardiac surgery centers were analyzed. Index procedures considered were coronary artery bypass graft surgery, isolated valve surgery, their combination, and proximal aortic root surgery. Hospital and five-year mortality constituted the endpoints of interest. Propensity score matching was adopted with logistic regression. A total of 358 patients (mean age: 63.3 ± 12.3 years; 29.6% female) were identified. Among 94 propensity score-matched pairs, women had a higher hospital mortality (70.5% v 56.4%, p = 0.049) compared with men. Logistic regression analysis showed that women (odds ratio [OR], 1.87; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.10-3.16), age (OR, 1.06; 95%CI 1.04-1.08) and pre-ECMO arterial lactate (OR, 1.09; 95%CI 1.04-1.16) were independent predictors of hospital mortality. No differences between female and male patients were observed for other outcomes. Among propensity score-matched pairs, one-, three-, and five-year mortality were 60.6%, 65.0%, and 65.0% among men, and 71.3%, 71.3%, and 74.0% among women, respectively (p = 0.110, adjusted hazard ratio, 1.27; 95%CI 0.96-1.66).

Conclusions: In postcardiotomy VA-ECMO, female patients demonstrated higher hospital mortality than men. Morbidity and late mortality were similar between the two groups.

Keywords: ECMO; cardiac surgery; complications; gender; survival.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Coronary Artery Bypass
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation* / methods
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / etiology