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What Is the Optimal Blood Pressure on Veno-Arterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation? Impact of Mean Arterial Pressure on Survival

Tanaka, Daizo; Shimada, Shogo; Mullin, Megan; Kreitler, Kristin; Cavarocchi, Nicholas; Hirose, Hitoshi

doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000824
Adult Circulatory Support

Blood pressure management is crucial for patients on veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA ECMO). Lower pressure can lead to end-organ malperfusion, whereas higher pressure may compete with ECMO flow and cardiac output. The impact of mean arterial pressure (MAP) on outcomes of patients on VA ECMO was evaluated. Patients who were supported on VA ECMO from September 2010 to March 2016 were retrospectively analyzed for average MAP throughout their course on ECMO, excluding the first and last day. Survival and complications observed during ECMO were investigated by classifying patients into groups based on their average MAP. A total of 116 patients were identified. Average MAP was significantly higher in patients who survived to discharge (82 ± 5.6 vs. 78 ± 5.5 mm Hg, p = 0.0003). There was a positive association between MAP and survival. Survival was best with MAP higher than 90 mm Hg (71%) and worst with MAP less than 70 mm Hg, where no patient survived. MAP was an independent predictor of survival to discharge by multivariate analysis (odds ratio 1.17, p = 0.013). Vasopressors were used more frequently in patients with lower pressure (coefficient −3.14, p = 0.005) without affecting survival (odds ratio 0.95, p = 0.95). Although the MAP did not affect the probability of strokes or bleeding complications, patients with a higher MAP had a lower incidence of kidney injury (p = 0.007). In conclusion, survival of patients on VA ECMO was significantly greater with a higher MAP, without being affected by prolonged vasopressor use.

From the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Submitted for consideration September 2017; accepted for publication in revised form March 2018.

Disclosure: The authors have no conflict of interest or source of funding to disclose.

Correspondence: Hitoshi Hirose, 1025 Walnut Street, Room 605, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Email:

Copyright © 2019 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs