BACKGROUND: The evidence of the benefits of using venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) after coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) is scarce. METHODS: We analyzed the outcomes of patients who received VA-ECMO therapy due to cardiac or respiratory failure after isolated CABG in 12 centers between 2005 and 2016. Patients treated preoperatively with ECMO were excluded from this study. RESULTS: VA-ECMO was employed in 148 patients after CABG for median of 5.0days (mean, 6.4, SD 5.6days). In-hospital mortality was 64.2%. Pooled in-hospital mortality was 65.9% without significant heterogeneity between the centers (I2 8.6%). The proportion of VA-ECMO in each center did not affect in-hospital mortality (p=0.861). No patients underwent heart transplantation and six patients received a left ventricular assist device. Logistic regression showed that creatinine clearance (p=0.004, OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.97-0.99), pulmonary disease (p=0.018, OR 4.42, 95% CI 1.29-15.15) and pre-VA-ECMO blood lactate (p=0.015, OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02-1.18) were independent baseline predictors of in-hospital mortality. One-, 2-, and 3-year survival was 31.0%, 27.9%, and 26.1%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: One third of patients with need for VA-ECMO after CABG survive to discharge. In view of the burden of resources associated with VA-ECMO treatment and the limited number of patients surviving to discharge, further studies are needed to identify patients who may benefit the most from this treatment.
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