Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation as Circulatory Support in Adult Patients with Septic Shock: A Systematic Review

DOI: 10.2478jccm-2024-0017

Introduction: The utilization of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in adult patients experiencing septic shock is a subject of ongoing debate within the medical community. This study aims to comprehensively address this issue through a systematic review conducted in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines.
Aim of Study: The primary objective of this study is to assess the outcomes of ECMO utilization in adult patients diagnosed with septic shock, thereby providing insights into the potential benefits and uncertainties associated with this treatment modality.
Materials and Methods: Our research encompassed a thorough search across electronic databases for relevant English-language articles published up until April 2023. The inclusion criteria were based on studies reporting on ECMO usage in adult patients with septic shock. Among the eligible studies meeting these criteria, a total of eleven were included in our analysis, involving a cohort of 512 patients. The mean age of the participants was 53.4 years, with 67.38% being male.
Results: In the pooled analysis, the mean survival rate following ECMO treatment was found to vary significantly across different ECMO modalities. Patients receiving venovenous-ECMO (VV-ECMO) and veno-venous-arterial ECMO (VVA-ECMO) demonstrated higher survival rates (44.5% and 44.4%, respectively) compared to those receiving venoarterial-ECMO (VA-ECMO) at 25% (p<0.05). A chi-square test of independence indicated that the type of ECMO was a significant predictor of survival (χ²(2) = 6.63, p=0.036). Additionally, patients with septic shock stemming from respiratory failure demonstrated survival rates ranging from 39% to 70%. Predictors of mortality were identified as older age and the necessity for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Conclusions: In septic shock patients, ECMO outcomes align with established indications like respiratory and cardiogenic shock. VV-ECMO and VVA-ECMO suggest better prognoses, though the optimal mode remains uncertain. Patient selection should weigh age and CPR need. Further research is vital to determine ECMO’s best approach for this population.

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