NYMC Faculty Publications

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (VA-ECMO) in Management of Cardiogenic Shock

Author Type(s)

Student, Resident/Fellow, Faculty

Journal Title

Journal of Clinical Medicine

Document Type


Publication Date





Cardiogenic shock is a critical condition of low cardiac output resulting in insufficient systemic perfusion and end-organ dysfunction. Though significant advances have been achieved in reperfusion therapy and mechanical circulatory support, cardiogenic shock continues to be a life-threatening condition associated with a high rate of complications and excessively high patient mortality, reported to be between 35% and 50%. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation can provide full cardiopulmonary support, has been increasingly used in the last two decades, and can be used to restore systemic end-organ hypoperfusion. However, a paucity of randomized controlled trials in combination with high complication and mortality rates suggest the need for more research to better define its efficacy, safety, and optimal patient selection. In this review, we provide an updated review on VA-ECMO, with an emphasis on its application in cardiogenic shock, including indications and contraindications, expected hemodynamic and echocardiographic findings, recommendations for weaning, complications, and outcomes. Furthermore, specific emphasis will be devoted to the two published randomized controlled trials recently presented in this setting.