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Resuscitation. 2017 Dec;121:151-157. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2017.08.237. Epub 2017 Sep 12.

Four-year experience of providing mobile extracorporeal life support to out-of-center patients within a suprainstitutional network-Outcome of 160 consecutively treated patients.

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Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.
Department of Anesthesiology, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Moorenstr. 5, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany. Electronic address:



Mobile extracorporeal life support (ECLS) may soon be on the verge to become a fundamental part of emergency medicine. Here, we report on our four-year experience of providing advanced mechanical circulatory support for out-of-center patients within the Düsseldorf ECLS Network (DELSN).


This retrospective cohort study analyses the outcome of 160 patients with refractory circulatory failure consecutively treated with mobile veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (vaECMO) between July 2011 and October 2015 within the DELSN.


Out of the 160 patients (56±16years, vaECMO initiation under CPR 68%), 59 patients (36%) survived to primary discharge, with 50 patients (31%) still alive after a median follow-up of 1.74 years. Time-discrete mortality was highest during the first 24h. There was no difference between survivors and non-survivors regarding age, etiology of circulatory failure, presence of CPR during implantation or distance to implantation site. Incidence of kidney injury requiring dialysis (61% vs. 24%, p<0.0001), shock liver (27% vs. 12%, p=0.031) and visceral ischemia (19% vs. 3%, p=0.013) were the only complications increased in non-survivors. Subgroup analysis showed no significant outcome difference for ECPR vs. non-ECPR patients. Outcome was significantly impaired with initial neuron-specific enolase ≥45.4μg/L (AUC 0.75, p<0.0001) and lactate ≥5.5mmol/L (AUC 0.70, p<0.0001). Program-year-dependent in-center mortality showed an increasing trend, while program-year-dependent follow-up mortality decreased over time.


This study illustrates that regional mobile ECLS rescue therapy can be provided with encouraging outcomes, although patient selection criteria and early outcome parameters reflecting on therapy success or futility still need to be refined.


Acute circulatory failure; Cardiogenic shock; Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation; Extracorporeal life support; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

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