Utility of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for early graft failure following heart transplantation in infancy.


BACKGROUND Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is widely used for postcardiotomy cardiogenic shock in children. However, the efficacy of ECMO for early post-heart transplant graft failure in infants has not been reported. Our aims were to determine: (1) the utility of ECMO in infants with severe donor-heart dysfunction, (2) predictors for requiring ECMO, and (3) the long-term outcome of surviving ECMO patients. METHODS All infants (age < 6 months at listing) undergoing heart transplantation were reviewed. Diagnostic categories were hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and non-HLHS (complex congenital heart disease and cardiomyopathies). Continuous and categorical comparisons were by Wilcoxon's rank sum test and Fisher's exact test respectively. RESULTS 14 (12 HLHS, 2 non-HLHS) of 63 (46 HLHS, 17 non-HLHS) infants were placed on ECMO. Ten patients (71%) were successfully weaned from ECMO and 8 (57%) were discharged alive. All ECMO hospital survivors remain alive (mean follow-up 36.2 +/- 21.4 months, range 13.1-77.6 months). Mean duration of ECMO support was 68 hours in weaned patients vs 144 hours (p = 0.19) in nonweaned patients, and 64 hours in survivors vs 123 hours (p = 0.35) in nonsurvivors. ECMO deaths were due to sepsis (n = 3), intractable pulmonary hypertension (n = 2), and intracranial bleed (n = 1). Neurologic deficits occurred in 2 survivors. Median ICU and hospital stays for ECMO survivors were 29 and 33 days vs 7 (p = 0.0003) and 9 (p = 0.0004) days for non-ECMO patients. Age listed, age transplanted, wait time, body weight, donor/recipient weight ratio, total ischemia time, and diagnosis did not predict the need for ECMO. CONCLUSIONS (1) ECMO is useful for post-heart transplant circulatory support in infants with early graft failure. (2) All survivors were weaned in fewer than 4 days. (3) Three-year survival of ECMO hospital survivors has been high, but neurologic complications are prevalent.

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@article{Mitchell2000UtilityOE, title={Utility of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for early graft failure following heart transplantation in infancy.}, author={Max B . Mitchell and David Campbell and Mark Richard Bielefeld and Tristan Dor{\'e}mus}, journal={The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation}, year={2000}, volume={19 9}, pages={834-9} }