Background: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is widely utilized for severe cardiopulmonary insufficiency, but its application to the oncologic population has been debated given concern for increased risk of infection. This study aims to analyze the implications of infections acquired during ECMO runs in patients with malignancy. Methods: The Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) database was queried for patients with an International Classification of Diseases code of neoplasms over the last two decades (2000–2019). Culture-proven infections during ECMO runs were analyzed and compared to previously reported data for all ECMO runs. Results: Two thousand, seven hundred and fifty-seven patients met inclusion criteria. Infection acquired during ECMO run was found in 687 patients, a significantly greater proportion compared to all ECMO runs (24.9% vs 11.7%; P =.001). Adult patients had a significantly higher rate of infection (27.0%; P <.001) compared to neonatal (11.0%) and pediatric (21.4%) patients. Prevalence of infection was highest in pulmonary ECMO (29.0%), while the infection rate standardized with ECMO duration was highest in extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (55.03/1000-day ECMO run). Compared with ECMO for all diagnoses, the prevalence of Candida and Klebsiella infection was significantly higher in adult and pediatric oncologic patients. Regardless of the pathogen, the presence of infection was not associated with lower survival (38.6% vs 40.0%; P =.522). Conclusions: Oncologic patients had a significantly higher infection rate while on ECMO compared with the general ECMO population. However, the prognostic impact of these infections was minimal, thus ECMO should not be withheld in oncologic patients solely with concern for infection.
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine