Limb ischemia during femoral cannulation for cardiopulmonary support.
OBJECTIVES: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and extracorporeal cardiopulmonary support (ECMO/CPS) are potentially life-saving techniques for patients with cardiopulmonary collapse. Complications include lower extremity ischemia from femoral artery cannulation. We examined the outcomes of patients placed on ECMO/CPS, including the rate of limb ischemia.
METHODS: All instances of ECMO/CPS over a 3-year period (2006-2009) at a single university hospital were examined retrospectively for cannulation strategy, perfusion strategy, mortality, and limb ischemia. Potential predictors of limb ischemia with femoral artery cannulation were age, gender, body surface area (BSA), body mass index (BMI), and arterial cannula size.
RESULTS: Fifty-eight patients were placed on ECMO/CPS. Of these, 43 patients (74%) had femoral arterial cannulation. In 10 patients, the superficial femoral artery (SFA) was cannulated prophylactically (without antecedent limb ischemia) and perfused in the antegrade direction from a branch of the ECMO/CPS circuit. In 7 of the remaining 33 patients (21%), limb ischemia developed requiring decannulation with fasciotomy (n = 4) or additional cannulation of the SFA with branching of the ECMO/CPS circuit (n = 3). One patient with ipsilateral leg ischemia required eventual amputation. Patients with limb ischemia were significantly younger than those who did not develop limb ischemia (P = .001). BSA, BMI, and cannula size did not predict limb ischemia. Overall 30-day mortality following the initiation of ECMO/CPS was 79%. There was no correlation between limb ischemia and mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: Younger patients may be at increased risk for lower extremity arterial insufficiency with femoral cannulation for ECMO/CPS. Prophylactic or expectant SFA cannulation are reasonable approaches.
Published In/Presented At
Foley, P. J., Morris, R. J., Woo, E. Y., Acker, M. A., Wang, G. J., Fairman, R. M., & Jackson, B. M. (2010). Limb ischemia during femoral cannulation for cardiopulmonary support. Journal of vascular surgery, 52(4), 850–853. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvs.2010.05.012
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division