Feasibility of smaller arterial cannulas in venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Hiroo Takayama, Elissa Landes, Lauren Truby, Kevin Fujita, Ajay J. Kirtane, Linda Mongero, Melana Yuzefpolskaya, Paolo C. Colombo, Ulrich P. Jorde, Paul A. Kurlansky, Koji Takeda, Yoshifumi Naka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Objectives To facilitate venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) insertion for cardiogenic shock, we recently adopted a strategy of using a 15F arterial cannula in all patients, rather than 1 designed to maximize flow. We aimed to compare the clinical outcomes of these 2 strategies. Methods In this retrospective study, 101 consecutive patients supported with ECMO via femoral cannulation between March 2007 and March 2013 were divided into 2 groups: Group L (17F-24F arterial cannula to accommodate full flow [ie, cardiac index of 2.5 L/m2/min]; n = 51) and Group S (15F arterial cannula; n = 50). The primary outcomes of interest were patients' overall status at 24 hours of support and cannulation-related adverse events. Results There were no significant differences in patient demographics, etiology of cardiogenic shock, or severity of illness before ECMO initiation between the 2 groups. Group L had significantly higher ECMO flow than Group S (flow index at 24 hours: 2.2 ± 0.7 vs 1.7 ± 0.3 L/m2/min; P < .001). However, there was no significant difference in use of vasoactive medication/hemodynamic parameters/laboratory parameters. Group L had higher incidence of cannulation-related adverse events (35% vs 22% in Group S [P = .14]), particularly in cannulation site bleeding (28% vs 10% [P = .03]). Thirty-day survival was 55% in Group L versus 52% in Group S (P = .77). Bleeding complication occurred in 53% in Group L versus 32% in Group S (P = .03). Conclusions Compared with the use of larger cannulas, ECMO with a 15F arterial cannula appears to provide comparable clinical support with reduced bleeding complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9339
Pages (from-to)1428-1433
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • ECMO
  • cardiogenic shock
  • complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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