for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Robert L Owens, MD (ucsd)
Headshot of Robert L Owens
Robert L Owens



Patients in end-stage cardiac failure and/or respiratory failure may be started on a rescue therapy known as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO). One of the major clinical questions is how to manage the ventilator when patients are on ECMO therapy. Ventilator Induced Lung Injury (VILI) can result from aggressive ventilation of the lung during critical illness. VILI and lung injury such as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) can further increase the total body inflammation and stress, this is known as biotrauma. Biotrauma is one of the mechanisms that causes multi-organ failure in critically ill patients. One advantage of ECMO is the ability to greatly reduce the use of the ventilator and thus VILI by taking control of the patient's oxygenation and acid-base status. By minimizing VILI during ECMO we can reduce biotrauma and thus multi-organ failure. Since the optimal ventilator settings for ECMO patients are not known, we plan to study the impact of different ventilator settings during ECMO on patient's physiology and biomarkers of inflammation and injury.

Official Title

Investigation of Biomarkers, Genomics, Physiology in Critically Ill and ECMO Patients


Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Cardiac Failure, Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Complication, Respiratory Failure, Renal Failure, Critical Illness, Pulmonary Disease, ECMO, ARDS, Ventilator induced Lung Injury, Heart Failure, Pulmonary Failure, Biomarkers, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Respiratory Insufficiency, Acute Lung Injury, Ventilator, Low Driving Pressure Protocol


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Patient currently on ECMO (Veno-Venous or Venous-Arterial or Venous-Arterial-Venous)
  • Patient that is a potential ECMO candidate.

You CAN'T join if...

  • History of Lung or Cardiac Transplantation
  • Patient is not committed to full support
  • Treating clinician refusal, or unwillingness to commit to controlled ventilation for at least 4-6 hours (if patient is mechanically ventilated)
  • Inability to get informed consent from the patient or surrogate.


  • University of California San Diego Health
    La Jolla California 92037-7381 United States

Lead Scientist at University of California Health

  • Robert L Owens, MD (ucsd)
    Professor, Medicine, Vc-health Sciences-schools. Authored (or co-authored) 153 research publications


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Study Type
Expecting 80 study participants
Last Updated