1 - Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation of the South and West Asia Chapter 2017 Conference Proceedings
  • ISSN: 0253-8253
  • EISSN: 2227-0426


Refractory cardiogenic shock (CS) complicates 5–7% of cases with ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), and is a leading cause of hospital death after myocardial infarction.1

CS complicating acute myocardial infarction (AMI) continues to have a high mortality of 40–50% despite early revascularization and adjunctive therapies.2 Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) technology has advanced significantly and is readily available at the bedside. This is a viable option for short-term support in the setting of acute cardiac ischemia. According to the 2003 USA National Registry of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), in-hospital cardiac arrest has a poor prognosis with an overall survival to hospital discharge rate of 17% with conventional CPR.3 One of the most common causes of cardiac arrest is ventricular fibrillation (VF) secondary to ischemia, which carries an improved prognosis if successfully defibrillated, with the rate of survival to hospital discharge being 34%.3 In cases with refractory ischemic VF, definitive therapy with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) may not be possible without anoxic brain injury secondary to hemodynamic collapse. CPR was introduced in the 1960s as a lifesaving method in patients with cardiac arrest.3 To supplement CPR in select patients, ECMO is used successfully for witnessed in-hospital cardiac arrest.3 In the setting of an AMI, bridging to a revascularization procedure is important in improving neurological outcome and overall survival. We report the profile and the outcome of patients in refractory VF resistant to defibrillation on ECMO support. Subsequent to revascularization, the patient's cardiac rhythm converted back to sinus rhythm with a single defibrillation shock with excellent neurological recovery. Since January 2014, we have been reviewing patients who had suffered from progressive severe refractory CS post STEMI undergoing emergency PCI on percutaneous veno-arterial (VA)-ECMO support. For 11 male patients (mean age 50 ± 18 years), the mean duration of support was 7 ± 4 days. Of these patients, 9 (81%) were weaned successfully from ECMO. However, two patients on ECMO support died: one due to massive gastrointestinal bleeding and the other due to septic shock. Three other patients also died; one due to occluded stent on third day post-ECMO removal, one due to intracranial hemorrhage on second day post-ECMO removal, and one due to septic shock on fourth day post-ECMO removal. The 30-day survival was 54% (6/11 patients) without any neurological deficit. VA-ECMO has shown to be an option to bridge patients in CS and/or refractory VF to allow for a successful revascularization procedure and ultimately good neurological and survival outcome.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cardiogenic shockECMOmyocardial infarction and percutaneous coronary intervention
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