Korean J Intern Med. 2015 Jul; 30(4): 478–488.



The clinical outcomes of patients with hematologic malignancies who were treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) after the failu re of optimal conventional therapy were determined.


The medical records of all patients administered ECMO during their stay in a medical intensive care unit of Seoul St. Mary's Hospital between February 2010 and July 2013 were reviewed retrospectively.


In total, 15 patients with hematologic malignancies were compared to 33 immunocompetent patients with documented cardiorespiratory failure. Underlying hematologic malignancies were significantly associated with lower overall survival (0.0% vs. 24.2%, p = 0.044). Mortality was significantly associated with a higher 24 hours ECMO inspired fraction of oxygen (0.71 ± 0.24 vs. 0.47 ± 0.13, p = 0.015), the development of infection after ECMO (87.5% vs. 25.0%, p = 0.001), and the presence of hyperbilirubinemia (70.0% vs. 0.0%, p < 0.001). Matching of the patients based on their Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores confirmed the greater risk of mortality in patients with hematologic malignancies (survival: 0.0% vs. 40.0%, p = 0.017). The mean difference in inotropic-equivalent scores after ECMO was significantly lower in the immunocompetent patients than in those with hematologic malignancies (-59.22 ± 97.83 vs. 53.87 ± 164.46, p = 0.026).


Patients with hematologic malignancies who require ECMO for respiratory support have poor outcomes. The incidence of complications in these patients did not significantly differ from that in immunocompetent patients.

Keywords: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, Hematologic neoplasms, Adults, Mortality, Complications

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