Prognostic Implication of Pre-Cannulation Cardiac Arrest in Patients Undergoing Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for the Management of Cardiogenic Shock

Hoyle L. Whiteside, Dustin Hillerson, Ahmed Abdel-Latif, Vedant A. Gupta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: The application of veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) in contemporary management of cardiogenic shock (CS) has dramatically increased. Despite increased utilization, few predictive models exist to estimate patient survival based on pre-ECMO characteristics. Furthermore, the prognostic implications of pre-ECMO cardiac arrest are not well defined. Methods: Utilizing an institutional VA-ECMO database, all consecutive patients undergoing VA-ECMO for the management of CS from January 1, 2014, to July 1, 2019, were identified. Survival to hospital discharge was analyzed based on cannulation indication in patients with and without pre-ECMO cardiac arrest. Patients who received extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (eCPR) were analyzed separately. Results: Of the 214 patients identified, 110 did not suffer a cardiac arrest prior to cannulation (cohort 1), 57 patients had a cardiac arrest with sustained ROSC (cohort 2), and 47 were cannulated as a component of eCPR (cohort 3). Despite sustained ROSC (cohort 2), the presence of pre-ECMO cardiac arrest was associated with a significant reduction in survival to hospital discharge (22.8% vs. 55.5% in cohort 1; p < 0.001). Comparatively, survival to discharge was similar in patients undergoing eCPR (22.8% vs. 17.0%; p = 0.464). Finally, patients with a cardiac arrest were significantly more likely to have a neurological etiology death with VA-ECMO than patients supported prior to hemodynamic collapse (18.3% vs. 2.7%; p < 0.001). This result is seen in those with sustained ROSC (21.1% vs. 2.7%; p < 0.001) and those with eCPR (14.9% vs. 2.7%; p = 0.004). Conclusion: In our cohort, pre-ECMO cardiac arrest carries a negative prognostic value across all indications and is associated with an increased prevalence of neurological-etiology death. This finding is true in patients with sustained ROSC as well as those resuscitated with eCPR. Cardiac arrest can inform survival probability with VA-ECMO as early implementation of VA-ECMO may mitigate adverse outcomes in patients at the highest risk of hemodynamic collapse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-207
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Intensive Care Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • ECMO
  • cardiac arrest
  • outcome assessment
  • shock

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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