Lung transplantation on cardiopulmonary support: venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation outperformed cardiopulmonary bypass

Fabio Ius, Christian Kuehn, Igor Tudorache, Wiebke Sommer, Murat Avsar, Dietmar Boethig, Thomas Fuehner, Jens Gottlieb, Marius Hoeper, Axel Haverich, Gregor Warnecke
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2012, 144 (6): 1510-6

OBJECTIVES: Patients requiring extracorporeal cardiorespiratory support during lung transplantation can be treated with conventional cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) or venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). In a retrospective analysis, we compared the postoperative course and outcomes of patients treated using these approaches.

METHODS: Between August 2008 and September 2011, 92 consecutive patients underwent lung transplantation with extracorporeal support (CPB group, n = 46; and, since February 2010, ECMO group, n = 46) at our institution. We evaluated survival, secondary organ failure, bleeding complications, and the need for blood and platelet transfusions in these 2 patient populations.

RESULTS: Intraoperatively, the CPB group required more packed red blood cell transfusions (12 ± 11 vs 7 ± 9 U; P = .01) and platelet concentrates (2.5 ± 1.6 vs 1.5 ± 1 U; P < .01) than the ECMO group. In-hospital mortality (39% vs 13%; P = .004), the need for hemodialysis (48% vs 13%; P < .01), and new postoperative ECMO support (26% vs 4%; P < .01) were greater in the CPB group than in the ECMO group, respectively. After propensity score analysis, multivariate analysis identified retransplantation (odds ratio, 7; 95% confidence interval, 1-43; P = .034) and transplantation with CPB support (odds ratio, 4.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-20; P = .026) as independent risk factors for in-hospital mortality. The survival rate at 3, 9, and 12 months was 70%, 59%, and 56% in the CPB group and 87%, 81%, and 81% in the ECMO group (P = .004).

CONCLUSIONS: Intraoperative ECMO allows for better periprocedural management and reduced postoperative complications and confers a survival benefit compared with CPB, mainly because of lower in-hospital mortality. It is now the standard of care in our lung transplantation program.


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