Hybrid extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
Veno-venous (VV) and veno-arterial (VA) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy is widely used in critically ill patients with refractory cardiogenic shock and cardiac arrest or suffering from severe respiratory failure. Besides traditional ECMO cannulation, changes in patients’ conditions or the occurrence of specific complications (i.e., cerebral hypoxia or left ventricular dilation) may require modifications in cannulation strategies or the combination of ECMO with additional invasive or minimally invasive procedures, to improve organ function and ECMO efficiency. In this review, we described all these “hybrid” approaches, such as the addition of a third or fourth ECMO cannula to improve venous drainage and/or optimize systemic hemodynamics/oxygenation, or the implementation of surgical or percutaneous unloading of the left ventricle (LV), to reduce cardiac dilation and pulmonary edema. Although few data are still available about the effectiveness of such interventions, clinicians should be aware of these advances in ECMO management to improve the management of more complex cases.