Thrombotic Risk in Central Venoarterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Post Cardiac Surgery

Perfusion. 2020 May 27. Online ahead of print

Stasis is the predominant risk factor for intracardiac thrombosis. This occurs rapidly and the outcome is poor. As a result, we suggest early left ventricular decompression. Conventional management of post-bypass coagulopathy seems safe if the aortic valve is opening.

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Post-cardiotomy cardiogenic shock is an accepted indication for venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The true incidence and risk factors for the development of thrombosis in this setting remain unclear.

Patients supported with central venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation due to ventricular dysfunction precluding weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass were retrospectively identified. Electronic records from a single institution spanning a 4-year period from January 2015 to December 2018 were interrogated to assess the incidence of thrombosis. The relationship to exposures including intracardiac stasis and procoagulant usage was explored.

Twenty-four patients met the inclusion criteria and six suffered major intracardiac thrombosis. All cases of thrombosis occurred early, and none survived to hospital discharge. The lack of left ventricular ejection conferred a 46% risk of developing thrombosis compared to 0% if ejection was maintained (p = 0.0093). Aprotinin use was also associated with thrombus formation (p = 0.035). There were no significant differences between numbers of patients receiving other procoagulants when grouped by thrombosis versus no thrombosis.

Stasis is the predominant risk factor for intracardiac thrombosis. This occurs rapidly and the outcome is poor. As a result, we suggest early left ventricular decompression. Conventional management of post-bypass coagulopathy seems safe if the aortic valve is opening.