Outcome of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a bridge to lung transplantation and graft recovery

Hartmuth B Bittner, Sven Lehmann, Ardawan Rastan, Jens Garbade, Christian Binner, Friedrich W Mohr, Markus J Barten
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2012, 94 (3): 942-50

BACKGROUND: Indications for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) use in lung transplantation are (1) temporary assistance as a bridge to transplantation, (2) stabilization of hemodynamics during transplantation in place of cardiopulmonary bypass, and (3) treatment of severe lung dysfunction and primary graft failure after transplantation. This study compares the survival of lung transplant recipients requiring ECMO support with survival of patients without ECMO.

METHODS: A retrospective database review was performed for 108 consecutive patients who underwent single-lung or bilateral-lung transplantation at our center between 2002 and 2009.

RESULTS: Of 108 transplant recipients, 27 (25%) required venoarterial ECMO compared with 81 patients who did not. Nine patients required ECMO preoperatively (87 ± 102 hours), and ECMO was continued for 5 patients during the lung transplant operation. Seven additional patients received ECMO during transplantation. Six patients required early (< 7 days) and 5 patients delayed (≥7 days) postoperative ECMO for treatment of allograft dysfunction. The subgroup with support showed the most favorable patient discharge rate (66.7%). ECMO support was a significant risk factor for death (p < 0.001). Survival was significantly reduced with the use of ECMO: 30-day, 90-day, 1-year, and 5-year survival was 97%, 91%, 83%, and 58% in the patients without ECMO compared with 63%, 44%, 33%, and 21% in those with ECMO, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Survival after lung transplantation was significantly reduced with ECMO. However, patients who survived the first year showed similar long-term survival as those patients who did not need perioperative ECMO support.


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