BRIEF RESEARCH REPORT article
Sec. Pediatric Critical Care
Volume 10 - 2022 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2022.955317
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for severe acute respiratory distress syndrome in children with leukemia/lymphoma: A retrospective case series
- 1Department of Critical Care Medicine, Shanghai Children’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
- 2Pediatric Extracorporeal Life Support Center, Institute of Pediatric Infection, Immunity, and Critical Care Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
- 3Institute of Pediatric Critical Care, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China
- 4Department of Hematology and Oncology, Shanghai Children’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
Objective: The cancer patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) benefit from extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) remains unanswered. We analyzed clinical characteristics and outcomes of pediatric patients with leukemia/lymphoma who developed ARDS and treated with ECMO.
Methods: Pediatric leukemia or lymphoma patients with ARDS who underwent ECMO between August 2017 and December 2021 were retrospectively analyzed in a tertiary pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
Results: Seven patients with median age 53 (IQR 42–117) months and 4 males were included. Six cases of leukemia [5 of acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and 1 of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML, M5)] and 1 of non-Hodgkin lymphoma with severe ARDS received ECMO on chemotherapy period. The etiology of ARDS is community or chemotherapy-associated bacterial or/and fungal or viral infection. All the patients received chemotherapy in the 2 weeks prior to ECMO and five were neutropenic at initial ECMO. Six cases underwent veno-arterial ECMO (VA ECMO) and 1 for veno-venous ECMO (VV-ECMO). The median duration of ECMO support was 122 (IQR 56–166) hours. Overall, 42.9% (three of seven) survived to hospital discharge and 6 months survival rate was 28.6% (two of seven). Bleeding was the main ECMO-associated complication occurring in 7 patients, followed by nosocomial infection in 4 cases. All the patients required vasopressor support, and 6 received continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT).
Conclusion: Our experiences suggest that rescue ECMO provides a selective treatment strategy in childhood hematologic malignancies with severe ARDS.
Pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome (pARDS) remains with high mortality according to an international, prospective, cross-sectional, observational study on 145 pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) from 27 countries (1). Patients with cancer are at increased risk for development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), either due to underlying malignancy or due to treatment-related complication. Despite improvements made in recent years, the mortality attributable to ARDS remains high in this population (2, 3). Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a treatment option for patients with severe ARDS in whom conventional mechanical ventilation fails (4–7). Recently data from the registry of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) indicated a hospital discharge rate of 58% in adults and 69% in pediatric pulmonary support with ECMO (8). However, due to worse outcomes with malignancy, eligibility of patients with cancer for ECMO support is an ongoing controversy.
Unsurprisingly, the confrontation of with critically ill patients with cancer is associated with significantly increased mortality risk. With regard to the severity of underlying malignancy, the prognosis of cancer patients is uncertainty and at high risk of life support-related adverse events, the challenge remains in times for the use of ECMO. Several studies showed that the value of veno-venous ECMO (VV-ECMO) was still unsatisfactory in adult patients with cancer with ARDS (9–11). Kochanek et al. (10) reported the sadly 60-day overall survival rate of patients with cancer who required VV-ECMO in 19 German and Austrian hospitals. However, there is only limited information available on pARDS with cancer or leukemia that received ECMO support. Therefore, we conducted a retrospective case series analysis to describe clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with leukemia/lymphomas with pARDS who received ECMO.
Materials and methods
We performed an analysis of children with hematologic malignancies who developed ARDS requiring rescue therapy with ECMO at our PICU from August 2017 to November 2021. At baseline of cytogenetics, the etiology of ARDS and reasons of PICU admission were recorded. Markers such as PaO2/FiO2 ratio, PaCO2, and lactate were recorded at initiation of ECMO. Mainly, laboratory variables including platelet count, coagulation function, and renal and liver functions were recorded. ECMO modality, ventilator parameters, vasopressor therapies, vasoactive inotropic score (VIS), and need for continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) were analyzed.
Before and after receiving ECMO support, the lung protective ventilation strategy is performed in our PICU. The ventilation strategy on ECMO support is goal of positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) of 10–12 cm H2O, inspiratory pressures less than 25 cm H2O, and a fraction of inhaled oxygen (FiO2) 0.4–0.5. Tidal volume goal is maintained at less 3–5 ml/kg ideal body weight until pulmonary recovery. Unfractionated heparin infusion was titrated to activated coagulation time (ACT) level of 150–180 min so long as activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) remained less than 80 s during ECMO. The patients were infused with exogenous platelets or prothrombin complexes, or fresh frozen plasma for maintaining a target platelet count of at least 25 × 109/L and a fibrinogen level of 1.2 g/L in severe thrombocytopenia or hypofibrinogenemia. Weaning from ECMO is performed according to Pediatric Acute Lung Injury Consensus Conference (PALICC) guidelines (12). Our ECMO center is one of major pediatric ECMO centers in China and a registered ELSO member (No. 663).
This retrospective analysis was approved by the ethics committee of Shanghai Children’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine (Protocol: 2020R063-E01). Because no additional interventions were performed, informed consent was waived by the institutional review board. After removing the patient privacy information, all the data used were anonymized and could not be traced back to individual patients.
A total of 7 children with hematologic malignancies developed severe ARDS requiring ECMO support. Four patients were males and 3 were females with median age of 53 months (IQR 42–117). Five cases were acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), 1 was acute myeloid leukemia (AML, M5, case2), and 1 was non-Hodgkin lymphoma (case 3). The main comorbidities and clinical characteristics for each patient are outlined in Table 1. The etiology of ARDS is community or chemotherapy-associated bacterial or/and fungal or viral infections. All the patients received chemotherapy in the 2 weeks prior to ECMO, and five were neutropenic at initial ECMO. Six patients received CRRT because of acute kidney injury (AKI) and/or fluid overload. Three cases were treated with 1–4 times of therapeutic plasm exchanges (TPEs) for liver dysfunction. All the patients were on broad-spectrum antibiotics and antifungal prophylaxis/treatment (Table 2).
The median duration of mechanical ventilation before ECMO support was 3 days (range 1–6 days). The median duration of ECMO support was 122 h (IQR 56–166). All the patients required a high dosage of vasopressor support (VIS ≥ 100). Six patients received veno-arterial ECMO (VA-ECMO) and 1 received VV-ECMO. Among six of the VA ECMO patients, four underwent surgical cut-down cannulation performed via neck vessels (right internal jugular vein-right carotid artery), and two patients underwent percutaneous femoral cannulation (femoral vein-femoral artery). One VV ECMO patient underwent percutaneous cannulation via the right internal jugular vein-femoral vein. After the initiation of ECMO, the vasoactive drugs were gradually downregulated, and the parameters of ventilator rapidly were reduced to protective ventilation in the survivors.
Three (3/7) patients survived and was discharged from the hospital. Among of 3 survivors, one patient recovered from ALL with severe ARDS received ECMO and healthy hospital discharged, but died 5 months later because of new septic shock. During the ECMO support, all patients were complicated with bleeding and 1 case with intracranial hemorrhage. One patient died of diffuse alveolar hemorrhage at 49 h of ECMO support. The causes of other non-survivors are outlined in Table 2. Moreover, the nosocomial infection on ECMO was complicated in 2 non-survivors and 2 in hospital survivor (Table 2).
ECMO support in patients with hematologic malignancies who develop severe ARDS remains controversial. In our study, the overall survival rate was 42.9% (three of seven) for hospital discharge and 28.6% (two of seven) for 6-month survival follow-up. The outcome of pediatric patients with leukemia/lymphoma with severe ARDS receiving ECMO as a rescue treatment was still unsatisfactory.
The mortality for patients with severe pARDS was about 33% (95% CI: 26–41) in the pARDS incidence and epidemiology (PARDIE) study (1). ECMO is a rescue treatment for patients with severe ARDS (8). However, the benefits of ECMO for specific subgroups of patients remain uncertain and a matter of debate (9, 13, 14). A few studies have been published on outcomes of ECMO in patients with malignant diseases. According to recent studies, the median overall survival rate was still low in adult patients with hematologic malignancies who developed ARDS receiving ECMO (9, 10, 15). More recently, the largest study reported the outcome of 297 adult patients with cancer with severe ARDS, and the 60-day survival rate was 26.8% (95% CI 22.1–32.4%). After propensity score matching, there was no significant difference in the survival of patients receiving ECMO and those managed with mechanical ventilation only (p = 0.089) (10). Only few cases reported the role of ECMO in pediatric patients with patient (16, 17). The larger pediatric case series study on this topic is that Cortina et al. (16) reported 9 patients of childhood leukemia with ARDS receiving ECMO, 5 (56%) patients survived to ECMO decannulationand4 (44%) survived to hospital discharge. In our case series, 4 (42.9%) of 7 patients survived and were discharged from the hospital, but 1 died 5 months later. This result suggested that rescue ECMO may be offered to selected children with leukemia/lymphoma-complicated ARDS.
The main factors affecting the success rate of ECMO include the timing of intervention, difficulty in primary disease treatment, and severity of ECMO-associated complications. The most frequent complications during ECMO are bleeding and ECMO-related infections. Higher risk for infectious and bleeding complications were main causes of lower success rates in patients with malignancy (18–20). Platelet count had been regarded as an indicator of the general severity of illness and a risk factor for bleeding-related morbidity and mortality. Kochanek et al. (10) found that low platelet count (95% CI.996–0.999; p = 0.0001, per 1,000 platelets/μl), elevated lactate levels (95% CI 1.012–1.084; p = 0.0077), and progressive disease (95% CI 1.081–3.238; p = 0.0253) were independent adverse prognostic factors for overall survival. We observed bleeding complication in all the patients, and two of the children had severe bleeding episodes (severe alveolar bleeding and intracranial hemorrhage). We infused fresh frozen plasma, prothrombin complexes, and exogenous platelets to guarantee the target platelets count > 25 × 109/L and a fibrinogen level of 1.2 g/L in severe thrombocytopenia or hypofibrinogenemia. Only one case had disastrous alveolar hemorrhage who died at 36 h of ECMO support.
To improve the outcome of patients with hematologic malignancies with ARDS, it will be important to better understand the characteristics for ECMO modality and the timing. In severe pARDS, VV-ECMO patients displayed a significantly lower in-hospital mortality (50% vs. 26.9%, p = 0.044) compared to VA-ECMO in a prospective multicenter study (5). According to the PALICC (12) suggestion, there is a trend toward a preference for VV- ECMO for respiratory support in children. However, the choice of whether to use VV or VA- ECMO must be based on the assessment of the individual child, in particular whether or not there is circulatory compromise. In the absence of cardiac or circulatory dysfunction, expert opinion favors the choice of VV- ECMO. In the present study, because of hemodynamic instability with higher dosage of vasopressors (VIS ≥ 100), only 1 patient received VV-ECMO and 6 cases received VA-ECMO. Although the vasopressor dose was gradually withdrawn after initiating ECMO in the survivors, we cannot determine whether the poor discharge survival rate was associated with ECMO modality and hemodynamic disorders.
We did not routinely use high-frequency ventilation to rescue the severe ARDS prior to ECMO. High-frequency oscillatory (HFO) ventilation is not recommended according to “an expert opinion” (21). HFO is theoretically an attractive technique that could theoretically ensure adequate gas exchange and avoid excessive tidal stretching and atelectrauma. However, whether this technique could be used in very severe PARDS before ECMO salvage therapy warrants further investigation.
Our case series is limited data by the small sample and by the retrospective analysis. However, it indicates that ECMO may provide a selective treatment for childhood hematologic malignancies with severe ARDS.
Data availability statement
The raw data supporting the conclusions of this article will be made available by the authors, without undue reservation.
This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Shanghai Children’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, China (Approval Number: 2016R011-E01). Written informed consent was waived by the institutional review board.
YCZ and YPZ conceived the study and collected the data. JYS, YS, TS, and JBS collected the data. YCZ, YPZ, and YC wrote the first draft of the manuscript. CW provided comments and approved the final version of the manuscript. YC and JBS were responsible for the design of the study. All authors critically reviewed and edited the manuscript and read and approved the final version.
This study was supported by the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality (20Y11901300 and 20ZR1446500) and the National Key R&D Program of China (2021YFC2701704).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article, or claim that may be made by its manufacturer, is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.
PICU, pediatric intensive care unit; ECMO, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; ELSO, Extracorporeal Life Support Organization; VA-ECMO, venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; VV-ECMO, venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; pARDS, pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome; ALL, acute lymphocytic leukemia; AML, acute myelogenous leukemia; CRRT, continuous renal replacement therapy/renal replacement therapy; VIS, vasoactive inotropic score; PEEP, positive end-expiratory pressure; FiO2, fraction of inhaled oxygen; ACT, activated coagulation time; aPTT, activated partial thromboplastin time; AKI, acute kidney injury; TPE, therapeutic plasm exchange; PARDIE, pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome incidence and epidemiology; MODS, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome; MV, mechanical ventilation; RSV, respiratory syncytial virus; p-plat, pressure of plat; MAP, mean arterial pressure; CI, cardiac index; CRP, C reactive protein; GI, gastro-intestine; pRBCs, packed red blood cells; FFP, fresh frozen plasma; Ab, acinetobacterbaumannii; ARF, acute respiratory failure.
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Keywords: acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, leukemia, lymphoma, child
Citation: Zhang Y, Zhou Y, Shi J, Shan Y, Sun T, Wang C, Shao J and Cui Y (2022) Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for severe acute respiratory distress syndrome in children with leukemia/lymphoma: A retrospective case series. Front. Pediatr. 10:955317. doi: 10.3389/fped.2022.955317
Received: 28 May 2022; Accepted: 15 August 2022;
Published: 08 September 2022.
Edited by:Dincer Riza Yildizdas, Çukurova University, Turkey
Reviewed by:Warwick Wolf Butt, Royal Children’s Hospital, Australia
Muhterem Duyu, Istanbul Medeniyet University Göztepe Prof. Dr. Süleyman Yalçın City Hospital, Turkey
Tanıl Kendirli, Ankara University, Turkey
Copyright © 2022 Zhang, Zhou, Shi, Shan, Sun, Wang, Shao and Cui. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
†These authors have contributed equally to this work