Purpose of review Temporary circulatory support
(TCS) with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
(VA-ECMO) is increasingly used as a salvage therapy for patients with refractory cardiogenic shock
. This article provides an overview of VA-ECMO principles, indications, management, complications, and discusses the results of recent case series and trials.
VA-ECMO is utilized as a bridge to ‘decision’ that includes weaning after cardiac function recovery, transplantation, long-term mechanical circulatory support, and withdrawal in case of futility. VA-ECMO is considered the first-line TCS as it allows rapid improvement in oxygenation, is less expensive, and is also suitable for patients with biventricular failure. Combining Impella (Abiomed, Danvers, MA, USA) or intra-aortic balloon pump
support with VA-ECMO might decrease left ventricular pressure and improve outcomes. Massive pulmonary embolism, sepsis-associated cardiomyopathy, and refractory cardiac arrest are among emerging indications for TCS.
TCS have become the cornerstone of the management of patients with cardiogenic shock
, although the evidence supporting their efficacy is limited. VA-ECMO is considered the first-line option, with a growing number of accepted and emerging indications. Randomized clinical trials are now needed to determine the place VA-ECMO in cardiogenic shock