Background:The effect of prone positioning (PP) on respiratory mechanics remains uncertain in patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requiring venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO).Methods:We prospectively analyzed the effects of PP on respiratory mechanics from continuous data with over a thousand time points during 16-h PP sessions in patients with COVID-19 and ARDS under VV-ECMO conditions. The evolution of respiratory mechanical and oxygenation parameters during the PP sessions was evaluated by dividing each PP session into four time quartiles: first quartile: 0–4 h, second quartile: 4–8 h, third quartile: 8–12 h, and fourth quartile: 12–16 h.Results:Overall, 38 PP sessions were performed in 10 patients, with 3 [2–5] PP sessions per patient. Seven (70%) patients were responders to at least one PP session. PP significantly increased the PaO2/FiO2 ratio by 14 ± 21% and compliance by 8 ± 15%, and significantly decreased the oxygenation index by 13 ± 18% and driving pressure by 8 ± 12%. The effects of PP on respiratory mechanics but not on oxygenation persisted after supine repositioning. PP-induced changes in different respiratory mechanical parameters and oxygenation started as early as the first-time quartile, without any difference in PP-induced changes among the different time quartiles. PP-induced changes in driving pressure (−14 ± 14 vs. −6 ± 10%, p = 0.04) and mechanical power (−11 ± 13 vs. −0.1 ± 12%, p = 0.02) were significantly higher in responders (increase in PaO2/FiO2 ratio > 20%) than in non-responder patients.Conclusions:In patients with COVID-19 and severe ARDS, PP under VV-ECMO conditions improved the respiratory mechanical and oxygenation parameters, and the effects of PP on respiratory mechanics persisted after supine repositioning.
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by protein-rich alveolar edema, reduced lung compliance and severe hypoxemia. Despite some evidence of improvements in mortality over recent decades, ARDS remains a major public health problem with 30% 28-day mortality in recent cohorts. Pulmonary vascular dysfunction is one of the pivot points of the pathophysiology of ARDS, resulting in a certain degree of pulmonary hypertension, higher levels of which are associated with morbidity and mortality. Pulmonary hypertension develops as a result of endothelial dysfunction, pulmonary vascular occlusion, increased vascular tone, extrinsic vessel occlusion, and vascular remodeling. This increase in right ventricular (RV) afterload causes uncoupling between the pulmonary circulation and RV function. Without any contractile reserve, the right ventricle has no adaptive reserve mechanism other than dilatation, which is responsible for left ventricular compression, leading to circulatory failure and worsening of oxygen delivery. This state, also called severe acute cor pulmonale (ACP), is responsible for excess mortality. Strategies designed to protect the pulmonary circulation and the right ventricle in ARDS should be the cornerstones of the care and support of patients with the severest disease, in order to improve prognosis, pending stronger evidence. Acute cor pulmonale is associated with higher driving pressure (≥18 cmH2O), hypercapnia (PaCO2 ≥ 48 mmHg), and hypoxemia (PaO2/FiO2 < 150 mmHg). RV protection should focus on these three preventable factors identified in the last decade. Prone positioning, the setting of positive end-expiratory pressure, and inhaled nitric oxide (INO) can also unload the right ventricle, restore better coupling between the right ventricle and the pulmonary circulation, and correct circulatory failure. When all these strategies are insufficient, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which improves decarboxylation and oxygenation and enables ultra-protective ventilation by decreasing driving pressure, should be discussed in seeking better control of RV afterload. This review reports the pathophysiology of pulmonary hypertension in ARDS, describes right heart function, and proposes an RV protective approach, ranging from ventilatory settings and prone positioning to INO and selection of patients potentially eligible for veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV ECMO).
Duration of invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) prior to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) affects outcome in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) related ARDS, the role of pre-ECMO IMV duration is unclear. This single-centre, retrospective study included critically ill adults treated with ECMO due to severe COVID-19-related ARDS between 01/2020 and 05/2021. The primary objective was to determine whether duration of IMV prior to ECMO cannulation influenced ICU mortality.
During the study period, 101 patients (mean age 56 [SD ± 10] years; 70 [69%] men; median RESP score 2 [IQR 1–4]) were treated with ECMO for COVID-19. Sixty patients (59%) survived to ICU discharge. Median ICU length of stay was 31 [IQR 20.7–51] days, median ECMO duration was 16.4 [IQR 8.7–27.7] days, and median time from intubation to ECMO start was 7.7 [IQR 3.6–12.5] days. Fifty-three (52%) patients had a pre-ECMO IMV duration of > 7 days. Pre-ECMO IMV duration had no effect on survival (p = 0.95). No significant difference in survival was found when patients with a pre-ECMO IMV duration of < 7 days (< 10 days) were compared to ≥ 7 days (≥ 10 days) (p = 0.59 and p = 1.0).
The role of prolonged pre-ECMO IMV duration as a contraindication for ECMO in patients with COVID-19-related ARDS should be scrutinised. Evaluation for ECMO should be assessed on an individual and patient-centred basis.
Background: Bleeding is a common complication of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for pediatric cardiac patients. We aimed to identify anticoagulation practices, cardiac diagnoses, and surgical variables associated with bleeding during pediatric cardiac ECMO by combining two established databases, the Collaborative Pediatric Critical Care Research Network (CPCCRN) Bleeding and Thrombosis in ECMO (BATE) and the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Registry.Methods: All children (<19 years) with a primary cardiac diagnosis managed on ECMO included in BATE from six centers were analyzed. ELSO Registry criteria for bleeding events included pulmonary or intracranial bleeding, or red blood cell transfusion >80 ml/kg on any ECMO day. Bleeding odds were assessed on ECMO Day 1 and from ECMO Day 2 onwards with multivariable logistic regression.Results: There were 187 children with 114 (61%) bleeding events in the study cohort. Biventricular congenital heart disease (94/187, 50%) and cardiac medical diagnoses (75/187, 40%) were most common, and 48 (26%) patients were cannulated directly from cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Bleeding events were not associated with achieving pre-specified therapeutic ranges of activated clotting time (ACT) or platelet levels. In multivariable analysis, elevated INR and fibrinogen were associated with bleeding events (OR 1.1, CI 1.0–1.3, p = 0.02; OR 0.77, CI 0.6–0.9, p = 0.004). Bleeding events were also associated with clinical site (OR 4.8, CI 2.0–11.1, p < 0.001) and central cannulation (OR 1.75, CI 1.0–3.1, p = 0.05) but not with cardiac diagnosis, surgical complexity, or cannulation from CPB. Bleeding odds on ECMO day 1 were increased in patients with central cannulation (OR 2.82, 95% CI 1.15–7.08, p = 0.023) and those cannulated directly from CPB (OR 3.32, 95% CI 1.02–11.61, p = 0.047).Conclusions: Bleeding events in children with cardiac diagnoses supported on ECMO were associated with central cannulation strategy and coagulopathy, but were not modulated by achieving pre-specified therapeutic ranges of monitoring assays.