Intensive Care Med. 2022 Jan 17:1-11. doi: 10.1007/s00134-021-06604-x. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: Previous studies support the potential efficacy of venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (vvECMO) for improving survival in severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) cases. Prone positioning (PP) has been shown to improve the outcomes of moderate-to-severe ARDS patients. Few studies and no randomized controlled trials have evaluated the effect of PP performed in ECMO patients.
METHODS: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis examining the effect of prone positioning for ARDS patients receiving vvECMO on survival. All authors were contacted to obtain complementary information not mentioned in the original articles. The main objective was to compare 28-day survival in vvECMO patients with PP to vvECMO patients without PP (controls).
RESULTS: Thirteen studies with a combined population of 1836 patients satisfied the inclusion criteria. PP was associated with a significant improvement in 28-day survival (503 survivors among 681 patients in the PP group [74%; 95% CI 71-77] vs. 450 survivors among 770 patients in the control group [58%, 95% CI 55-62]; RR 1.31 [95% CI 1.21-1.41]; I2 22% [95% CI 0-62%]; P < 0.0001). Survival was also improved in terms of other endpoints (60-day survival, 90-day survival, ICU survival, and hospital survival). In contrast, the duration of mechanical ventilation was increased in vvECMO patients with PP (mean difference 11.4 days [95% CI 9.2-13.5]; 0.64 [95% CI 0.50-0.78]; I2 8%; P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSION: According to this meta-analysis, survival was improved when prone positioning was used in ARDS patients receiving vvECMO. The impact of this combination on survival should be investigated in prospective randomized controlled trials.