<p>Background: To examine whether venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) improves survival of patients with acute pulmonary embolism (PE). Methods: Following the PRISMA guidelines, a systematic search was conducted up to August 2019 of the databases: PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane. All studies reporting the survival of adult patients with acute PE treated with VA-ECMO and including four patients or more were included. Exclusion criteria were: correspondences, reviews and studies in absence of a full text, written in other languages than English or Dutch, or dating before 1980. Short-term (hospital or 30-day) survival data were pooled and presented with relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Also, the following pre-defined factors were evaluated for their association with survival in VA-ECMO treated patients: age &gt; 60 years, male sex, pre-ECMO cardiac arrest, surgical embolectomy, catheter directed therapy, systemic thrombolysis, and VA-ECMO as single therapy. Results: A total of 29 observational studies were included (N = 1947 patients: VA-ECMO N = 1138 and control N = 809). There was no difference in short-term survival between VA-ECMO treated patients and control patients (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.71–1.16). In acute PE patients undergoing VA-ECMO, age &gt; 60 years was associated with lower survival (RR 0.72, 95% CI 0.52–0.99), surgical embolectomy was associated with higher survival (RR 1.96, 95% CI 1.39–2.76) and pre-ECMO cardiac arrest showed a trend toward lower survival (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.77–1.01). The other evaluated factors were not associated with a difference in survival. Conclusions: At present, there is insufficient evidence that VA-ECMO treatment improves short-term survival of acute PE patients. Low quality evidence suggest that VA-ECMO patients aged ≤60 years or who received SE have higher survival rates. Considering the limited evidence derived from the present data, this study emphasizes the need for prospective studies. Protocol registration: PROSPERO CRD42019120370.</p>

doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2021.03.006, hdl.handle.net/1765/136112
Journal of Critical Care
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

the DUTCH ECLS Study Group, M Karami, L. (Loes) Mandigers, D. (Dinis) Dos Reis Miranda, W.J.R. (Wim) Rietdijk, Jan M. Binnekade, … A. P.J. Vlaar. (2021). Survival of patients with acute pulmonary embolism treated with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Journal of Critical Care, 64, 245–254. doi:10.1016/j.jcrc.2021.03.006