Indication for initiation of mechanical circulatory support impacts survival of infants with shunted single-ventricle circulation supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Catherine K Allan, Ravi R Thiagarajan, Pedro J del Nido, Stephen J Roth, Melvin C Almodovar, Peter C Laussen
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2007, 133 (3): 660-7

OBJECTIVES: The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation to support patients with shunted single-ventricle physiology has been controversial. Variable survivals are reported in a number of small case series. We sought to evaluate outcomes and identify predictors of survival for patients with shunted single-ventricle physiology who require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all patients aged less than 1 year with shunted single-ventricle physiology who were supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation at Children's Hospital Boston between 1996 and 2005. Survivors and nonsurvivors were compared with respect to demographics, diagnosis, operative variables, indication for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation variables.

RESULTS: Forty-four infants with shunted single-ventricle physiology were supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Diagnoses included hypoplastic left heart syndrome (24), other single-ventricle lesions (12), and pulmonary atresia/intact ventricular septum or a variant (8). Overall survival to discharge was 48%. Indication for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was the strongest predictor of survival to discharge, with 81% of patients cannulated for hypoxemia but only 29% of those cannulated for hypotension surviving to discharge. Specifically, patients cannulated for shunt obstruction had the highest survival (83%).

CONCLUSIONS: Overall survival to discharge for patients with shunted single-ventricle physiology is similar to survival reported in the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization registry for all infants supported with cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Thus, shunted single-ventricle physiology should not be considered a contraindication to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Patients cannulated for hypoxemia, particularly shunt thrombosis, had markedly improved survival compared with those supported primarily for hypotension/cardiovascular collapse. Survival did not differ depending on anatomic diagnosis.

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