Sadiye Deniz Özsoy, Hülya Yılmaz Ak

Keywords: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, respiratory failure, cardiac failure, patient selection


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is an advanced cardiopulmonary bypass machine used in cardiac surgery and can be lifesaving in patients with severe but reversible respiratory failure and/or or cardiac failure, refractory to conventional therapy. ECMO is not a cure for the underlying disease, but it is used as temporary support and offers time for the recovery of organs. Moreover, it can be used as a bridge to a more permanent device or cardiac transplantation.The ECMO circuit basically consists of a vascular cannula, a pump, and an artificial lung (oxygenator). It can be set in to two main configurations. Veno-venous (V-V) ECMO provides lung support, while veno-arterial (V-A) ECMO provides both heart and lung supports. Initially, ECMO was used in neonatal and pediatric populations to treat respiratory failure. Over time, with the accumulation of experience and advances in technology, the application of ECMO has been extended, and the number of adult patients receiving this therapy has substantially increased. In this review, we sought to summarize patient selection, indications, contraindications, complications, technical aspects, and outcomes of ECMO.