Chronic respiratory disease and survival outcomes after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Tak Kyu Oh, Hyoung Won Cho, Hun Taek Lee, In Ae Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Quality of life following extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy is an important health issue. We aimed to describe the characteristics of patients who developed chronic respiratory disease (CRD) following ECMO therapy, and investigate the association between newly diagnosed post-ECMO CRDs and 5-year all-cause mortality among ECMO survivors. Methods: We analyzed data from the National Health Insurance Service in South Korea. All adult patients who underwent ECMO therapy in the intensive care unit between 2006 and 2014 were included. ECMO survivors were defined as those who survived for 365 days after ECMO therapy. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, interstitial lung disease, lung cancer, lung disease due to external agents, obstructive sleep apnea, and lung tuberculosis were considered as CRDs. Results: A total of 3055 ECMO survivors were included, and 345 (11.3%) were newly diagnosed with CRDs 365 days after ECMO therapy. The prevalence of asthma was the highest at 6.1% (185). In the multivariate logistic regression, ECMO survivors who underwent ECMO therapy for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or respiratory failure had a 2.00-fold increase in post-ECMO CRD (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.39 to 2.89; P < 0.001). In the multivariate Cox regression, newly diagnosed post-ECMO CRD was associated with a 1.47-fold (95% CI: 1.17 to 1.86; P = 0.001) higher 5-year all-cause mortality. Conclusions: At 12 months after ECMO therapy, 11.3% of ECMO survivors were newly diagnosed with CRDs. Patients who underwent ECMO therapy for ARDS or respiratory failure were associated with a higher incidence of newly diagnosed post-ECMO CRD compared to those who underwent ECMO for other causes. Additionally, post-ECMO CRDs were associated with a higher 5-year all-cause mortality. Our results suggest that ECMO survivors with newly diagnosed post-ECMO CRD might be a high-risk group requiring dedicated interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number195
JournalRespiratory Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Interstitial lung diseases
  • Lung cancer


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