J Chest Surg.  2021 Feb;54(1):36-44. 10.5090/kjtcs.20.123.

Association between Cumulative Fluid Balance and Outcomes in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Patients Treated with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

  • 1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Korea University Anam Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has become increasingly accepted as a life-saving procedure for patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This study investigated the relationship between cumulative fluid balance (CFB) and outcomes in adult ARDS patients treated with ECMO.
We retrospectively analyzed the data of adult ARDS patients who received ECMO between December 2009 and December 2019 at Korea University Anam Hospital. CFB was calculated during the first 7 days after ECMO initiation. The primary endpoint was 28-day mortality.
The 74 patients were divided into survivor (n=33) and non-survivor (n=41) groups based on 28-day survival. Non-survivors showed a significantly higher CFB at 1–7 days (p<0.05). Cox multivariable proportional hazard regression revealed a relationship between CFB on day 3 and 28-day mortality (hazard ratio, 3.366; 95% confidence interval, 1.528–7.417; p=0.003).
In adult ARDS patients treated with ECMO, a higher positive CFB on day 3 was associated with increased 28-day mortality. Based on our findings, we suggest a restrictive fluid strategy in ARDS patients treated with ECMO. CFB may be a useful predictor of survival in ARDS patients treated with ECMO.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Fluid balance
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