Cardiac Catheterization in Pediatric Patients Supported by Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: A 15-Year Experience

Nicholas S Boscamp, Mariel E Turner, Matthew Crystal, Brett Anderson, Julie A Vincent, Alejandro J Torres
Pediatric Cardiology 2017, 38 (2): 332-337
Cardiac catheterization is commonly performed in patients being supported by extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). We aimed to evaluate the safety, benefit, and outcomes of catheterization in pediatric patients supported by ECMO. Retrospective review of cardiac catheterizations performed in patients ≤18 years of age while on ECMO at a large tertiary care center between January 2000 and May 2015. A total of 55 catheterizations were performed on 51 patients during 53 unique ECMO courses. Indications for ECMO include ventricular dysfunction (22), cardiac arrest (20), inability to wean from cardiopulmonary bypass (7), and persistent cyanosis (4). Catheterizations included purely diagnostic studies (11), atrial septostomies (34), stenting of vessels or surgical shunts (6), adjustment of a stent (1), coil embolization (1), and endomyocardial biopsy (1). Septostomy was elective in 58.8% of cases (20) and emergent in 41.2% (14). Forty-six catheterizations had either surgical or catheter intervention during the same or subsequent study (83.6%). High severity complications occurred in three patients (5.6%), including one death due to hemothorax after pulmonary artery stent placement. There were no complications during patient transport. In total, 38 out of 53 (71.7%) ECMO courses resulted in decannulation, 29 (54.7%) patients survived to discharge from the hospital, and 25 (47.2%) were alive at follow-up. Cardiac catheterization can be safely performed on patients supported by ECMO. Cardiac catheterization is a critical tool in the early recognition, diagnosis, and direct treatment of hemodynamic/anatomic abnormalities in patients supported by ECMO.

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