Cardiac tamponade during venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: a case report

E. J.M. Adriaansen, J.A.J. Hermens, M. Broome, L. Pladet, E. Dubois, D.W. Donker, C.L. Meuwese*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Cardiac tamponade may present with very different signs and clinical consequences in patients who are supported with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Failure to recognize cardiac tamponade in this setting can cause failure to wean from venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and even lead to death. Case presentation: We present a 44-year-old Caucasian female in whom cardiac tamponade manifested as venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation weaning failure. After discovering the contribution of cardiac tamponade, it was possible to wean the patient from venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support. No clear signs of cardiac tamponade had existed beforehand. Conclusions: The diagnosis of cardiac tamponade can be very challenging in venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation supported patients due to (patho)physiological particularities related to the parallel blood flow.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medical Case Reports
Issue number1
Early online date9 Feb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 9 Feb 2023


  • Cardiac tamponade
  • Case report
  • Pericardial effusion
  • Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Weaning failure


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