Outcomes of severe Legionella pneumonia requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

Ali Naqvi, Sumit Kapoor, Mallika Pradhan, Peter V. Dicpinigaitis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Legionella pneumonia with acute respiratory failure may necessitate extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The medical literature in this area is comprised primarily of case reports and small case series. Our goal was to summarize published data and contribute our institutional experience regarding survival in severe Legionella pneumonia requiring ECMO. Methods: A National Library of Medicine (PubMed) search was conducted, identifying reports of ECMO therapy in patients with severe Legionella pneumonia. Electronic health records of Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, NY) captured all such patients treated at our institution during the 10-year period 2010–2019. Results: 23 articles reported 73 patients. Survival to hospital discharge was 78.1%. In an attempt to avoid publication bias, we culled from the search four series (53 patients), reporting surviving and non-surviving patients. Survival in this group was 71.7%. Our institutional experience included 10 patients with survival rate 80%. Conclusions: Review of clinical experience with ECMO for severe Legionella pneumonia yields a survival rate of over 70%. The similarity in survival rates among all published cases (78.1%), case series reporting surviving and non-surviving patients (71.7%), our institutional experience (80%), and recently reported Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) registry data (71%) supports the veracity of this encouraging survival rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-106
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Critical Care
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Acute respiratory failure
  • Extracorporeal life support (ECLS)
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Legionella
  • Pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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