Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is increasingly used in patients with severe cardiorespiratory collapse. Although prior large database reviews of ECMO use in the peripartum population exist, they do not stratify by ECMO indication nor do they include obstetric conditions such as preeclampsia. Our objective was to characterize the incidence, indication-associated mortality, and factors associated with mortality in pregnant patients who underwent ECMO.
We examined the United States National Inpatient Sample database to identify hospitalizations for pregnancy from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2016. We identified pregnant patients who underwent ECMO using International Classification of Diseases ninth and tenth revisions codes. The primary outcome was in-hospital all-cause mortality across pregnant patients who underwent ECMO for any indication. We evaluated the indication for ECMO, incidence, prevalence of risk factors, comorbidities and conditions, and their association with in-hospital mortality.
Fifty-nine of 5‚346,517 pregnant patients underwent ECMO during our study period (incidence, 1.1; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.84–1.4 per 100,000 hospitalizations). Indications for ECMO support included respiratory failure (79.7%), cardiogenic shock (64.4%), or circulatory arrest (25.4%). Most patients (57.6%) had more than 1 indication. The overall in-hospital mortality rate was 30.5%. Mortality was 29.8% in patients with respiratory failure, 39.5% with cardiogenic shock, 46.7% with cardiac arrest, and 42.4% in those with combined diagnoses. Cardiogenic shock was associated with a significantly higher mortality rate and adjusted odds ratio 5.0 (95% CI, 1.25–27.0). Most patients (62.7%) had one or more comorbidities.
The frequency of ECMO use across the pregnant population was low over this time period, with a mortality rate of 1 in 3 patients. Mortality was greatest in patients with cardiogenic shock. Further work is needed to understand how best to improve ECMO outcomes in pregnant patients.
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