Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support for complex tracheo-bronchial procedures†

György Lang, Bahil Ghanim, Konrad Hötzenecker, Thomas Klikovits, Jose Ramon Matilla, Clemens Aigner, Shahrokh Taghavi, Walter Klepetko
European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery 2015, 47 (2): 250-5; discussion 256

OBJECTIVES: The published experience with advanced broncho-plastic procedures performed with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support is very limited. We examined our results to assess the risks and benefits of this approach.

METHODS: We retrospectively analysed all patients with thoracic malignancies who underwent complex tracheo-bronchial reconstruction under ECMO support in our department between 2001 and 2013.

RESULTS: Ten patients (age range 21-81 years, mean 54 ± 11 years) underwent complex tracheo-bronchial reconstructions under veno-arterial ECMO support. In 7 patients, the underlying pathology was non-small-cell lung cancer, in 2 cases carcinoid tumour and in 1 case adenoid cystic carcinoma. ECMO cannulation was central (n = 7) or peripheral (n = 3). Mean time on bypass was 113 ± 17 min (range 70-135 min). A complete resection (R0) was achieved in 8 patients (80%). There was no perioperative mortality. Patients were discharged from the hospital after 7-52 days (median 11 days). Median time on ICU was 1 day (range 1-36 days). There was no complication related to the use of ECMO in this series. Mean follow-up time was 1694 ± 1385 days (range 12-4338). The 1-, 3- and 5-year Kaplan-Meier survival was 100, 74 and 56%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on this experience, we consider veno-arterial ECMO support as a safe and valuable approach for complex airway surgery.

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