Incidence and risk factors of groin lymphocele formation after venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in cardiogenic shock patients

Michael Salna, Hiroo Takayama, Arthur R. Garan, Paul Kurlansky, Maryjane A. Farr, Paolo C. Colombo, Thomas Imahiyerobo, Nicholas Morrissey, Yoshifumi Naka, Koji Takeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: Venous-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) is a well-established therapy for refractory cardiopulmonary failure. Femoral cannulation offers a quick and effective means of providing circulatory support but is not without complication. Inflammation or lymphatic disruption at the site of cannulation can cause the formation of lymphoceles, leading to the patient's discomfort and possibly necessitating intervention. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the incidence of in-hospital lymphocele formation in VA-ECMO patients and to identify predictors for their development. Methods: We conducted a single-center retrospective review of 192 patients who underwent femoral VA-ECMO insertion and subsequent decannulation from March 2007 to August 2016 for cardiogenic shock. Baseline demographics, risk factors, and cannulation strategies were examined. Groin lymphocele formation was assessed as the primary outcome. Results: Median age was 58 years (interquartile range, 48-67 years) with a median duration of support of 4 days (interquartile range, 2-6 days). Lymphocele formation was identified in 31 patients (16%). Patients who developed lymphoceles were more likely to have post-heart transplantation primary graft dysfunction (PGD) as an indication for ECMO support compared with those who did not (54.2% vs 8%; P <.001). ECMO duration was similar between groups, but lymphocele patients were more likely to have undergone femoral cutdown procedures (68% vs 42%; P =.010). Compared with those PGD patients who did not develop lymphoceles, PGD lymphocele patients had higher rates of diabetes mellitus preoperatively (62% vs 8%; P =.006). Thirteen (42%) patients required surgical incision and drainage, and 4 of these patients (31%) required repeated surgical intervention. Conclusions: Lymphocele formation is relatively common after femoral VA-ECMO. There was a significantly higher incidence of lymphocele formation in diabetic patients requiring support for PGD after heart transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-548
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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