The survival predictors and optimal mechanical ventilator settings in patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) undergoing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) are uncertain. This study was designed to investigate the influences of clinical variables and mechanical ventilation settings on the outcomes for severe ARDS patients receiving ECMO.
Methods: We reviewed severe ARDS patients who received ECMO due to refractory hypoxemia from May 2006 to October 2015.
Serial mechanical ventilator settings before and after ECMO and factors associated with survival were analyzed.
Results: A total of 158 severe ARDS patients received ECMO were finally analyzed. Overall intensive care unit (ICU) mortality was 55.1%.
After ECMO initiation, tidal volume, peak inspiratory pressure and dynamic driving pressure were decreased, while positive end-expiratory pressure levels were relative maintained. After ECMO initiation, nonsurvivors had significantly higher dynamic driving pressure until day 7 than survivors.
Cox proportional hazards regression model revealed that immunocompromised [hazard ratio 1.957; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.216–3.147; p = 0.006], Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score (hazard ratio 1.039; 95% CI 1.005–1.073; p = 0.023), ARDS duration before ECMO (hazard ratio 1.002; 95% CI 1.000–1.003; p = 0.029) and mean dynamic driving pressure from day 1 to 3 on ECMO (hazard ratio 1.070; 95% CI 1.026–1.116; p = 0.002) were independently associated with ICU mortality.
Conclusions: For severe ARDS patients receiving ECMO, immunocompromised status, APACHE II score and the duration of ARDS before ECMO initiation were significantly associated with ICU survival. Higher dynamic driving pressure during first 3 days of ECMO support was also independently associated with increased ICU mortality.