Venoarterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Support for Ventricular Tachycardia Ablation: A Systematic Review

Saraschandra Vallabhajosyula, Saarwaani Vallabhajosyula, Vaibhav R. Vaidya, Sri Harsha Patlolla, Viral Desai, Siva K. Mulpuru, Peter A. Noseworthy, Suraj Kapa, Alexander C. Egbe, Bernard J. Gersh, Abhishek J. Deshmukh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Refractory ventricular tachycardia (VT) and electrical storm are frequently associated with hemodynamic compromise requiring mechanical support. This study sought to review the current literature on the use of venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) for hemodynamic support during VT ablation. This was a systematic review of all published literature from 2000 to 2019 evaluating patients with VT undergoing ablation with VA-ECMO support. Studies that reported mortality, safety, and efficacy outcomes in adult (>18 years) patients were included. The primary outcome was short-term mortality (intensive care unit stay, hospital stay, or ≤30 days). The literature search identified 4,802 citations during the study period, of which seven studies comprising 867 patients met the inclusion criteria. Periprocedural VA-ECMO was used in 129 (15%) patients and all were placed peripherally. Average inducible VTs were 2-3 per procedure and ablation time varied between 34 mins and 4.7 hours. Median ages were between 61 and 68 years with 93% males. Median duration of VA-ECMO varied between 140 minutes and 6 days. Short-term mortality was 15% (19 patients), with the most frequent causes being refractory VT, cardiac arrest, and acute heart failure. All-cause mortality at the longest follow-up was 25%. Major bleeding, vascular/access complications, limb ischemia, stroke, and acute kidney injury were reported with varying frequency of 1-6%. In conclusion, VA-ECMO is used infrequently for hemodynamic support for VT ablation. Further data on patient selection, procedural optimization, and clinical outcomes are needed to evaluate the efficacy of this strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)980-985
Number of pages6
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • ablation
  • cardiogenic shock
  • extracorporeal life support
  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • ventricular tachycardia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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