Incomplete Cushing’s reflex in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

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2 Scopus citations


We report a case of intracranial hypertension presenting with bradycardia as the only component of Cushing’s triad in a patient on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. A 41-year-old woman with recurrent driveline infections of HeartMate-II had sternotomy and debridement that was complicated by right ventricular failure requiring veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Patient was comatose and acute onset of bradycardia occurred without any change in blood pressure or respiration. Computed tomography of brain demonstrated an uncal herniation from diffuse cerebral edema. Acute onset of bradycardia in comatose patients may be the sole component of Cushing’s triad in laminar flow circulatory support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-404
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Cushing’s reflex
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • brain herniation
  • continuous flow pump

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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