Free On-line Access

SPCI - Sociedade Portuguesa de Cuidados Intensivos

Revista Brasileira de Terapia Intensiva

AMIB - Associação de Medicina Intensiva Brasileira


ISSN: 0103-507X
Online ISSN: 1982-4335

Ícone Fechar

How to Cite


Zigaib R, Noritomi DT, Amil enGCC. Medicina intensiva: a oxigenação extracorpórea é factível no Brasil?. Rev Bras Ter Intensiva. 2014;26(3):200-202





Critical care medicine: extracorporeal oxygenation is feasible in Brazil?

Medicina intensiva: a oxigenação extracorpórea é factível no Brasil?

Rogério Zigaib1,2, Danilo Teixeira Noritomi1, on behalf of Grupo de Cuidados Críticos Amil

1 Intensive Care Unit, Hospital Paulistano - São Paulo (SP), Brazil
2 Intensive Care Unit, Discipline of Clinical Emergency, Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de São Paulo - São Paulo (SP), Brazil

Conflicts of interest: None.

Corresponding author: Rogério Zigaib, Hospital Paulistano, Unidade de Terapia Intensiva - 3º andar, Rua Martiniano de Carvalho, 671 - Liberdade, Zip code: 01321-001 - São Paulo (SP), Brazil, E-mail: [email protected]


Ventilatory support has been a major reason for hospitalization in intensive care units (ICU) since the creation of these units, which came about precisely for that immediate need during the polio epidemic in Europe.(1,2) In 1967, Ashbaugh described a series of severe cases marked by respiratory failure, cyanosis, hypoxemia refractory to oxygen therapy and high mortality, a condition that became known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).(3) Almost 50 years after the syndrome was first identified, the treatment of ARDS is still a major challenge for intensive care medicine and continues to be associated with high mortality and morbidity.(4,5) Several therapeutic modalities have been proposed, with variable results, including in terms of cost. These therapies involve mechanical ventilation strategies,(6-8) patient positioning,(9) and the use of medications and gas mixtures,(10-12) among other techniques. Recently, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy has once again become popular.(13,14)

ECMO, arising from surgery requiring cardiopulmonary bypass, has been used as a treatment for ARDS since the 1970s,(15) with unfavorable initial results.(16,17) However, the therapy was never definitively abandoned and, in 2009, with the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, the use of ECMO showed more promising results in large case series in developed countries.(18) The exchange of information between centers with experience in the method and professional qualifications clearly contributed to these results. In Brazil, the Park group(19) and others(20) have demonstrated the feasibility of using the technique to support patients with ARDS refractory to conventional treatment in our units. However, in our country, this know-how is restricted to a few groups, and the use of ECMO in most services remains just a possibility.

The incorporation of the new therapeutic modalities, especially when they are invasive and incur a significant risk to the patient, presents a dilemma in the care team''s decision making. Even when efficacy data from controlled studies are available, it is natural that the physician and the multidisciplinary team may hesitate to adopt measures that are still not widely used in their field.(21,22)

From the manager''s point of view, the dilemma may be even harder to resolve. Incorporating a new technology that requires significant resources can result in a lack of resources for other care activities that are already in place. Unlike the care team, the manager has fewer elements within the scientific literature upon which to base his or her decision and often must be guided by unmeasurable elements, which leads to the high likelihood of cognitive bias. A recent survey shows that the incorporation of health technology in the hospital setting rarely relies on cost-effectiveness analyses.(23) The study by Park et al. in this volume of RBTI may be one of the few elements that can help managers to make quantitatively justifiable decisions in this regard.(24)

The study suggests that ECMO has an acceptable cost-effectiveness ratio in our environment and that in some hypothetical scenarios, it has demonstrated a capacity to save resources while improving adjusted survival rates. We should emphasize that economic analyses in the health field must be performed with parameters (especially those pertaining to cost) specific to the region in question. Unlike clinical efficacy studies, the possibility of generalizing results obtained in distant countries is very small because there are differences with respect to both individual cost values of therapeutic elements and the number of elements used in the situations studied.

As the authors admit from the start of the article, the analysis presented is not definitive. However, it does bring to light an important issue in intensive care medicine from a little explored point of view - especially in the areas of techniques and equipment. An empirical study on this topic would still be interesting, but as of this moment, the authors have provided elements for making a more soundly based decision.


Reisner-Sénélar L. The birth of intensive care medicine: Björn Ibsen''s records. Intensive Care Med. 2011;37(7):1084-6. Link DOILink PubMed
Trubuhovich RV. August 26th 1952 at Copenhagen: ''Bjørn Ibsen''s Day''; a significant event for Anaesthesia. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2004;48(3):272-7. Link DOILink PubMed
Ashbaugh DG, Bigelow DB, Petty TL, Levine BE. Acute respiratory distress in adults. Lancet. 1967;2(7511):319-23. Link DOILink PubMed
Rubenfeld GD, Caldwell E, Peabody E, Weaver J, Martin DP, Neff M, et al. Incidence and outcomes of acute lung injury. N Engl J Med. 2005;353(16):1685-93. Link DOILink PubMed
Herridge MS, Tansey CM, Matté A, Tomlinson G, Diaz-Granados N, Cooper A, Guest CB, Mazer CD, Mehta S, Stewart TE, Kudlow P, Cook D, Slutsky AS, Cheung AM; Canadian Critical Care Trials Group. Functional disability 5 years after acute respiratory distress syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2011;364(14):1293-304 Link DOILink PubMed
Amato MB, Barbas CS, Medeiros DM, Magaldi RB, Schettino GP, Lorenzi-Filho G, et al. Effect of a protective-ventilation strategy on mortality in the acute respiratory distress syndrome. N Engl J Med. 1998;338(6):347-54. Link DOILink PubMed
Ventilation with lower tidal volumes as compared with traditional tidal volumes for acute lung injury and the acute respiratory distress syndrome. The Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Network. N Engl J Med. 2000;342(18):1301-8. Link DOILink PubMed
Ferguson ND, Cook DJ, Gordon GH, Mehta S, Hand L, Austin P, Zhou Q, Matte A, Walter SD, Lamontagne F, Granton JT, Arabi YM, Arroliga AC, Stewart TE, Slutsky AS, Meade MO; OSCILLATE Trial Investigators; Canadian Critical Care Trials Group. High-frequency oscillation in early acute respiratory distress syndrome. New Engl J Med. 2013;368(9):795-805. Link DOI
Guérin C, Reignier J, Richard JC, Beuret P, Gacouin A, Boulain T, Mercier E, Badet M, Mercat A, Baudin O, Clavel M, Chatellier D, Jaber S, Rosselli S, Mancebo J, Sirodot M, Hilbert G, Bengler C, Richecoeur J, Gainnier M, Bayle F, Bourdin G, Leray V, Girard R, Baboi L, Ayzac L; PROSEVA Study Group. Prone positioning in severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(23):2159-68. Link DOILink PubMed
Meduri GU, Golden E, Freire AX, Taylor E, Zaman M, Carson SJ, et al. Methylprednisolone infusion in early severe ARDS: results of a randomized controlled trial. Chest. 2007;131(4):954-63. Link DOILink PubMed
Papazian L, Forel JM, Gacouin A, Penot-Ragon C, Perrin G, Loundou A, Jaber S, Arnal JM, Perez D, Seghboyan JM, Constantin JM, Courant P, Lefrant JY, Guérin C, Prat G, Morange S, Roch A; ACURASYS Study Investigators. Neuromuscular blockers in early acute respiratory distress syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2010;363(12):1107-16. Link DOILink PubMed
Akmal AH, Hasan M. Role of nitric oxide in management of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Ann Thorac Med. 2008;3(3):100-3. Link DOILink PubMed
Zapol WM, Snider MT, Hill JD, Fallat RJ, Bartlett RH, Edmunds LH, et al. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in severe acute respiratory failure. A randomized prospective study. JAMA. 1979;242(20):2193-6. Link DOILink PubMed
Morris AH, Wallace CJ, Menlove RL, Clemmer TP, Orme JF Jr, Weaver LK, et al. Randomized clinical trial of pressure-controlled inverse ratio ventilation and extracorporeal CO2 removal for adult respiratory distress syndrome. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994;149(2 Pt 1):295-305. Erratum in: Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1994;149(3 Pt 1):838. Link DOILink PubMed
Hill JD, O''Brien TG, Murray JJ, Dontigny L, Bramson ML, Osborn JJ, et al. Prolonged extracorporeal oxygenation for acute post-traumatic respiratory failure (shock-lung syndrome). Use Bramson membrane lung. N Engl J Med. 1972;286(12):629-34. Link DOILink PubMed
Australia and New Zealand Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ANZ ECMO) Influenza Investigators, Davies A, Jones D, Bailey M, Beca J, Bellomo R, Blackwell N, et al. Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for 2009 Influenza A(H1N1) Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. JAMA. 2009;302(17):1888-95. Link DOILink PubMed
Noah MA, Peek GJ, Finney SJ, Griffiths MJ, Harrison DA, Grieve R, et al. Referral to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation center and mortality among patients with severe 2009 influenza A(H1N1). JAMA. 2011;306(15):1659-68. Link DOILink PubMed
Peek GJ, Mugford M, Tiruvoipati R, Wilson A, Allen E, Thalanany MM, Hibbert CL, Truesdale A, Clemens F, Cooper N, Firmin RK, Elbourne D; CESAR trial collaboration. Efficacy and economic assessment of conventional ventilatory support versus extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for severe adult respiratory failure (CESAR): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2009;374(9698):1351-63. Link DOILink PubMed
Park M, Azevedo LC, Mendes PV, Carvalho CR, Amato MB, Schettino GP, et al. First-year experience of a Brazilian tertiary medical center in supporting severely ill patients using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2012;67(10):1157-63. Link DOILink PubMed
Saueressig MG, Schwarz P, Schlatter R, Moreschi AH, Wender OC, de Macedo-Neto AV. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for postpneumonectomy ARDS. J Bras Pneumol. 2014;40(2):203-6. Link DOILink PubMed
Bero LA, Grilli R, Grimshaw JM, Harvey E, Oxman AD, Thomson MA. Closing the gap between research and practice: an overview of systematic reviews of interventions to promote the implementation of research findings. The Cochrane Effective Practice and Organization of Care Review Group. BMJ. 1998;317(7156):465-8. Link PubMed
Cabana MD, Rand CS, Powe NR, Wu AW, Wilson MH, Abboud PA, et al. Why don''t physicians follow clinical practice guidelines? A framework for improvement. JAMA. 1999;282(15):1458-65. Link DOILink PubMed
Weingart SN. Acquiring advanced technology. Decision-making strategies at twelve medical centers. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 1993;9(4):530-8. Link DOILink PubMed
Park M, Mendes PV, Zampieri FG, Azevedo LC, Costa EL, Antoniali F, et al. Efeito econômico do uso da oxigenação extracorpórea para suporte de pacientes adultos com insuficiência respiratória grave no Brasil: uma análise hipotética. Rev Bras Ter Intensiva. 2014;26(3):253-62.

Submission On-line

Indexed in




Associação de Medicina Intensiva Brasileira - AMIB

Rua Arminda nº 93 - 7º andar - Vila Olímpia - São Paulo, SP, Brasil - Tel./Fax: (55 11) 5089-2642 | e-mail: [email protected]

Cookie Policy

GN1 - Systems and Publications