Management benefits and safety of computed tomography in patients undergoing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation therapy: Experience of a single centre

S. L. Jepson, C. Harvey, J. J. Entwisle, G. J. Peek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Aim: To evaluate the benefits and logistical safety of computed tomography (CT) imaging in patients undergoing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy in a single institution. Materials and methods: Over a period of 25 months, 134 patients (80 neonates, 19 children, and 35 adults) underwent ECMO therapy at this institution. The imaging of these patients was reviewed to identify patients who had undergone CT imaging whilst on ECMO. Patient notes were retrospectively reviewed. CT findings and subsequent decisions were analysed to assess the benefit of CT imaging. Complications arising due to the logistics of performing the scan were analysed to assess the safety of performing CT in ECMO patients. Results: Of 134 patients, 14 (10%) had a total of 15 CT examinations whilst undergoing ECMO therapy. Indications for CT included new neurology, increased respiratory demand, and increasing requirement for high ECMO flows. There were no major complications and two minor complications associated with the logistics of performing a CT examination on an ECMO patient. Significant findings resulted from 73.3% (11/15) of the CT examinations, and in all 15 examinations information was provided that was used in making further management decisions, including, in some cases, withdrawal of ECMO therapy. Conclusion: With an experienced team, CT imaging of patients on ECMO can be performed safely. CT provides valuable information for subsequent management of patients undergoing ECMO therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)881-886
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Radiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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