For the first Pulm PEEPs episode of 2023, we are starting off with a bang and a Roundtable discussion about venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO). VV-ECMO has been increasing in use in the intensive care unit for patients with severe respiratory failure, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are joined by experts in the field, Cara Agerstrand, Eddy Fan, and Nida Qadir, to discuss the basics of how ECMO works, physiologic goals, when to use ECMO for patients with ARDS, and much more. Let us know your thoughts and stay tuned for more great content in 2023.
Meet Our Guests
Cara Agerstrand is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center / NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, where she is also the Director of the Medical ECMO Program. She is an international renown ECMO expert and is the current Conference Chair for the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (or ELSO). Finally, she is a lauded educator and has received the American College of Chest Physicians Distinguished Educator Award.
Eddy Fan is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, and the University Health Network / Mount Sinai Hospital. He is also the Director of Critical Research and the Medical Director of the Extracorporeal Life Support Program. He has literally 100s of publications about ARDS, ECMO, and critical care, chairs the ELSO Research Committee, and spearheads multiple international collaborative studies.
Nida Qadir is an Associate Professor at the University of California Los Angeles and is an Associate Director of the MICU, as well as the co-director of the Post-ICU Recovery Clinic. Nida is also on the Critical Care Editorial Board for CHEST and is a highly regarded pulmonary and critical care educator.
Key Learning Points
VV- ECMO Basic Components and Core Physiology
Oxygenation Delivery on VV-ECMO
Carbon Dioxide Removal on VV-ECMO
Flows and Line Pressures on VV-ECMO
ECMO for ARDS
- Should be considered after conventional therapies have failed (including ventilator optimization and proning)
- Allows for ultra-lung protective ventilation
- Lung rest means settings that minimize ventilator-induced lung injury
- EOLIA Trial (see below) shows that ECMO can be delivered safely, and likely has a benefit in severe ARDS, although the magnitude of that benefit remains uncertain. A Bayesian re-analysis showed a high likelihood of benefit even if skeptical of ECMO
ECMO For Bridge to Lung Transplant
- Allows for patients to maintain gas exchange while awaiting transplant
- Ideally done with patient extubated
- Can allow for patients to maintain nutrition and mobility while awaiting transplant
References and Further Reading
- Brodie D, Bacchetta M. Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for ARDS in Adults. N Engl J Med. 2011;365(20):1905-1914. doi:10.1056/NEJMct1103720
- Munshi L, Brodie D, Fan E. Extracorporeal Support for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Adults. NEJM Evidence. 2022;1(10):EVIDra2200128. doi:10.1056/EVIDra2200128
- Combes A, Hajage D, Capellier G, et al. Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. New England Journal of Medicine. 2018;378(21):1965-1975. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1800385
- Goligher EC, Tomlinson G, Hajage D, et al. Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Severe Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and Posterior Probability of Mortality Benefit in a Post Hoc Bayesian Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2018;320(21):2251-2259. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.14276
- Erdeneochir E, Strunina S. Analysis of blood flow in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation circuit. Published online 2017.
- Schmidt M, Pham T, Arcadipane A, et al. Mechanical Ventilation Management during Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. An International Multicenter Prospective Cohort. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019;200(8):1002-1012. doi:10.1164/rccm.201806-1094OC
- Tonna JE, Abrams D, Brodie D, et al. Management of Adult Patients Supported with Venovenous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (VV ECMO): Guideline from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO). ASAIO Journal. 2021;67(6):601-610. doi:10.1097/MAT.0000000000001432
- Hayanga JWA, Hayanga HK, Holmes SD, et al. Mechanical ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a bridge to lung transplantation: Closing the gap. J Heart Lung Transplant. 2019;38(10):1104-1111. doi:10.1016/j.healun.2019.06.026
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