From a recent review:
We identified 3123 citations. Ten studies (87 patients), primarily case series, met inclusion criteria. ECCO2R prevented intubation in 65/70 (93 %) patients and assisted in the successful extubation of 9/17 (53 %) mechanically ventilated subjects. One case–control study matching to noninvasively ventilated controls reported lower intubation rates and hospital mortality with ECCO2R that trended toward significance. Physiological data comparing pre- to post-ECCO2R changes suggest improvements for pH (0.07–0.15 higher), PaCO2 (25 mmHg lower), and respiratory rate (7 breaths/min lower), but not PaO2/FiO2. Studies reported 11 major (eight bleeds requiring blood transfusion of 2 units, and three line-related complications, including one death related to retroperitoneal bleeding) and 30 minor complications (13 bleeds, five related to anticoagulation, and nine clotting-related device malfunctions resulting in two emergent intubations).
The technique is still experimental and no randomized trial is available. Recognizing selection bias associated with case series, there still appears to be potential for benefit of ECCO2R in patients with COPD exacerbations. However, it is associated with frequent and potentially severe complications. Higher-quality studies are required to better elucidate this risk–benefit balance.