To perform a scoping literature review of cognitive, psychiatric, and quality of life outcomes in adults undergoing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for any indication.
We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, CINAHL, and PsycINFO from inception to June 2019.
Observational studies, clinical trials, qualitative studies, and case series with at least 10 adult subjects were included for analysis. Outcomes of interest consisted of general or domain-specific cognition, psychiatric illness, and quality of life measures that included both mental and physical health.
Study selection, data quality assessment, and interpretation of results were performed by two independent investigators in accordance with the PRISMA statement.
Twenty-two articles were included in this review. Six described cognitive outcomes, 12 described psychiatric outcomes of which two were qualitative studies, and 16 described quality of life outcomes. Cognitive impairment was detected in varying degrees in every study that measured it. Three studies examined neuroimaging results and found neurologic injury to be more frequent in venoarterial versus venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, but described a variable correlation with cognitive impairment. Rates of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder were similar to other critically ill populations and were related to physical disability after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation survivors’ physical quality of life was worse than population norms but tended to improve with time, while mental quality of life did not differ significantly from the general population. Most studies did not include matched controls and instead compared outcomes to previously published values.
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation survivors experience cognitive impairment, psychiatric morbidity, and worse quality of life compared with the general population and similar to other survivors of critical illness. Physical disability in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients plays a significant role in psychiatric morbidity. However, it remains unclear if structural brain injury plays a role in these outcomes and whether extracorporeal membrane oxygenation causes secondary brain injury.