Publication Date


Journal Title

J Extra Corpor Technol


© 2018 American Society of Extra-Corporeal Technology. All Rights Reserved. Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) is an invaluable rescue therapy for patients suffering from cardiopulmonary arrest, but it is not without its drawbacks. There are cases where patients recover their cardiac function, yet they fail to wean to mechanical conventional ventilation (MCV). The use of high-frequency percussive ventilation (HFPV) has been described in patients with acute respiratory failure (RF) who fail MCV. We describe our experience with five patients who underwent VA-ECMO for cardiopulmonary arrest who were successfully weaned from VA-ECMO with HFPV after failure to wean with MCV. Weaning trials of HFPV a day before decannulation or at the time of separation from VA-ECMO were conducted. Primary endpoint data collected include pre- and post-HFPV partial pressures of oxygen (PaO2) and PaO2/FIO2(P/F) ratios measured at 2 and 24 hours after institution of HFPV. Additional periprocedural data points were collected including length of time on ECMO, hospital stay, and survival to discharge. Four of five patients were placed on VA-ECMO subsequent to percutaneous coronary intervention. One patient had cardiac arrest secondary to RF. Mean PaO2(44 ± 15.9 mmHg vs. 354 ± 149 mmHg, p < .01) and mean P/F ratio (44 ± 15.9 vs. 354 ± 149, p < .01) increased dramatically at 2 hours after the initiation of HFPV. Theimprovementinmean PaO2and P/F ratio was durable at 24 hours whether or not the patient was returned to MCV (n = 3) or remained on HFPV (n = 2) (44 ± 15.9 mmHg vs. 131 ± 68.7 mmHg, p = .036 and 44 ± 15.9 vs. 169 ± 69.9, p < .01, respectively). Survival to discharge was 80%. The data presented suggest that HFPV may be used as a strategy to shorten time on ECMO, thereby reducing the negative effects of the ECMO circuit and improving its cost efficacy.

Volume Number


Issue Number



53 - 57

Document Type





School of Medicine

Primary Department

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery