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Thrombosis and Bleeding in ECMO without Anticoagulation

Thrombosis and Bleeding in ECMO without Anticoagulation

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) causes both thrombosis and bleeding. Major society guidelines recommend continuous, systemic anticoagulation to prevent thrombosis of the ECMO circuit, though this may be undesirable in those with active, or high risk of, bleeding. We aimed to systematically review thrombosis and bleeding outcomes in published cases of adults treated with ECMO without continuous systemic anticoagulation.

Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane CENTRAL and CDSR, and hand search via SCOPUS were queried.

Eligible studies were independently reviewed by two blinded authors if they reported adults (≥18 years) treated with either VV- or VA-ECMO without continuous systemic anticoagulation for ≥24 hours.

Patient demographics, clinical data, and specifics of ECMO technology and treatment parameters were collected.

Primary outcomes of interest included incidence of bleeding, thrombosis of the ECMO circuit requiring equipment exchange, patient venous or arterial thrombosis, ability to wean off of ECMO, and mortality.

October 4, 2020

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