Choice of peripheral venoarterial extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation cannulation site in patients above 15 kilograms

Mustafa Kurkluoglu, Conor F. Hynes, Fahad A. Alfares, Magdy M. El-Sayed Ahmed, Syed M. Peer, David Zurakowski, Richard A. Jonas, Dilip S. Nath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a life-saving measure for pediatric patients with cardiopulmonary failure. The option of cannulating neck vessels versus those of the groin exists for patients over 15 kg; however, each carries the risk for complications. We present a single-center experience comparing the risks and benefits of these alternate peripheral ECMO cannulation sites. Methods All pediatric patients supported by venoarterial (VA) ECMO via peripheral cannulation from January 2006 to May 2013 were retrospectively reviewed, excluding those weighing less than 15 kg. We compared complications of neck versus groin cannulation sites, including neurologic dysfunction, limb ischemia, and in-hospital mortality. Univariate analysis and multivariable logistic regression were performed to identify factors for complications including mortality. Results Thirty-six patients (median age 10.8 years, interquartile range: 6.0-15.8) were cannulated for VA ECMO. Forty-four percent were cannulated via neck vessels and 47% were cannulated via groin. Nine percent were cannulated at both sites. Overall survival was 72% at decannulation and 67% at hospital discharge. No statistically significant survival difference between groin and neck cannulation subgroups was found. Rate of neurologic injury was higher in neck (25%) versus groin (12%) cannulation, but this was not statistically significant (p = 0.52). Extremity ischemia occurred in five patients having groin cannulation (29%, p = 0.04). Conclusions Neck cannulation is a valuable alternative to groin vessels in patients above 15 kg. Risk of limb ischemia with groin cannulation is significant, and must be considered when choosing the cannulation site for ECMO support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-465
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of cardiac surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015


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