Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Adjunct hemoadsorption is increasingly utilized to target underlying hyperinflammation derived from ARDS. This article aims to review available data on the use of CytoSorb© therapy in combination with V-V ECMO in severe ARDS, and to assess the effects on inflammatory, laboratory and clinical parameters, as well as on patient outcomes. A systematic literature review was conducted and reported in compliance with principles derived from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. When applicable, a before-and-after analysis for relevant biomarkers and clinical parameters was carried out. CytoSorb© use was associated with significant reductions in circulating levels of C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 (p = 0.039 and p = 0.049, respectively). Increases in PaO2/FiO2 reached significance as well (p = 0.028), while norepinephrine dosage reductions showed a non-significant trend (p = 0.067). Mortality rates in CytoSorb© patients tended to be lower than those of control groups of most included studies, which, however, were characterized by high heterogeneity and low power. In an exploratory analysis on 90-day mortality in COVID-19 patients supported with V-V ECMO, the therapy was associated with a significantly reduced risk of death. Based on the reviewed data, CytoSorb© therapy is able to reduce inflammation and potentially improves survival in ARDS patients treated with V-V ECMO. Early initiation of CytoSorb© in conjunction with ECMO might offer a new approach to enhance lung rest and promote recovery in patients with severe ARDS.
Keywords: ARDS; CytoSorb; ECMO; hemoadsorption; inflammation; lung failure.