The impact of selection criteria and study design on reported survival outcomes in extracorporeal oxygenation cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR): a systematic review and meta-analysis

Sameer Karve, Dominique Lahood, Arne Diehl, Aidan Burrell, David H. Tian, Tim Southwood, Paul Forrest, Mark Dennis

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Background: The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) during cardiac arrest (ECPR) has increased exponentially. However, reported outcomes vary considerably due to differing study designs and selection criteria. This review assessed the impact of pre-defined selection criteria on ECPR survival. Methods: Systematic review applying PRISMA guidelines. We searched Medline, Embase, and Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews for RCTs and observational studies published from January 2000 to June 2021. Adult patients (> 12 years) receiving ECPR were included. Two investigators reviewed and extracted data on study design, number and type of inclusion criteria. Study quality was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale (NOS). Outcomes included overall and neurologically favourable survival. Meta-analysis and meta-regression were performed. Results: 67 studies were included: 14 prospective and 53 retrospective. No RCTs were identified at time of search. The number of inclusion criteria to select ECPR patients (p = 0.292) and study design (p = 0.962) was not associated with higher favourable neurological survival. However, amongst prospective studies, increased number of inclusion criteria was associated with improved outcomes in both OHCA and IHCA cohorts. (β = 0.12, p = 0.026) and arrest to ECMO flow time was predictive of survival. (β = -0.023, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Prospective studies showed number of selection criteria and, in particular, arrest to ECMO time were associated with significant improved survival. Well-designed prospective studies assessing the relative importance of criteria as well as larger efficacy studies are required to ensure appropriate application of what is a costly intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number142
Number of pages9
JournalScandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Cardiology
  • Extracorporeal life support
  • Resuscitation and intensive care

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