Quality of Life and Lung Function in Survivors of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Giacomo Grasselli, Vittorio Scaravilli, Daniela Tubiolo, Riccarda Russo, Francesco Crimella, Francesca Bichi, Letizia Corinna Morlacchi, Eleonora Scotti, Lorenzo Patrini, Luciano Gattinoni, Antonio Pesenti, Davide Chiumello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


WHAT WE ALREADY KNOW ABOUT THIS TOPIC: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is used in severe acute respiratory distress syndrome; whereas the long-term complications among survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome treated without extracorporeal membrane oxygenation are well described, the status of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation survivors is poorly understood WHAT THIS ARTICLE TELLS US THAT IS NEW: In a single-center cohort of acute respiratory distress syndrome survivors, management with (vs. without) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation resulted in similar survival at 1 yr, pulmonary function, and computed tomography lung imaging, but less impairment in quality of life BACKGROUND:: Survivors of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have long-term impairment of pulmonary function and health-related quality of life, but little is known of outcomes of ARDS survivors treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The aim of this study was to compare long-term outcomes of ARDS patients treated with or without extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. METHODS: A prospective, observational study of adults with ARDS (January 2013 to December 2015) was conducted at a single center. One year after discharge, survivors underwent pulmonary function tests, computed tomography of the chest, and health-related quality-of-life questionnaires. RESULTS: Eighty-four patients (34 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, 50 non-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) were studied; both groups had similar characteristics at baseline, but comorbidity was more common in non-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (23 of 50 vs. 4 of 34, 46% vs. 12%, P < 0.001), and severity of hypoxemia was greater in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (median PaO2/FIO2 72 [interquartile range, 50 to 103] vs. 114 [87 to 133] mm Hg, P < 0.001) and respiratory compliance worse. At 1 yr, survival was similar (22/33 vs. 28/47, 66% vs. 59%; P = 0.52), and pulmonary function and computed tomography were almost normal in both groups. Non-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients had lower health-related quality-of-life scores and higher rates of posttraumatic stress disorder. CONCLUSIONS: Despite more severe respiratory failure at admission, 1-yr survival of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients was not different from that of non-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients; each group had almost full recovery of lung function, but non-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients had greater impairment of health-related quality of life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-580
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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