Background: Acute cerebral complications (ACC) of veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) are associated with poor long-term neurologic outcome. We described the role of rSO2 monitoring in detecting ACC and desaturations and their relationship with poor outcome when employing VA-ECMO. Methods: Retrospective analysis of patients monitored by cerebral frontal near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) (CAS Medical Systems Inc., Branford, CT, USA) during VA-ECMO (November 2008–December 2015). ACC was defined as the presence of stroke and/or brain death, while cerebral desaturation as cortical oxygen tissue saturation (rSO2) < 60%. Results: Fifty-six of 159 VA-ECMO patients (age 55 [36–60] years) were included; 18 (32%) developed ACC and 36 died (64%). Cerebral desaturation occurred in 43 (74%) patients, who had a higher mortality than those without cerebral desaturation (74 vs. 31%). A high sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) score on the first day of ECMO (OR 1.40 [95% CIs 1.06–1.84]) and the minimum ECMO blood flow during the first 4 days of therapy (OR 3.05 [1.01–9.17]) were independently associated with the occurrence of cerebral desaturation. Cerebral desaturation occurred more frequently in patients with ACC than others (94 vs. 68%); patients with ACC also had a lower minimal rSO2 over time (49 vs. 54%) and more frequently had high right-left rSO2 differences (33 vs. 8%), which were both independent predictors of ACC. The occurrence of cerebral desaturation (OR 7.93 [1.62–38.74]) and high lactate concentrations during the first 4 days of ECMO support (OR 1.22 [1.03–1.46]) was independently associated with hospital mortality. Conclusions: Monitoring of rSO2 could be considered as an interesting tool to monitor the brain of patients on VA-ECMO.
- Cerebral oxygenation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine