Objective: Effectiveness of preoperative and postoperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support in pediatric lung transplantation was studied.
Methods: Institutional database of pediatric lung transplants from 1990 to 2008 was reviewed.
Results: Three hundred forty-four patients underwent lung transplants in the study period. Thirty-three of 344 patients (9.6%) required perioperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support. Fifteen patients (median, age 1.3 years; range, 0.2-18 years) required 16 pretransplant extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs. Indications were respiratory failure (8/16, 50%), severe pulmonary hypertension (5/16, 31%), and cardiopulmonary collapse (3/16, 19%). Four of these patients (27%) also required postoperative support. Six (40%) were weaned before lung transplant. Six (40%) survived to hospital discharge. Survival to discharge was higher among patients weaned before lung transplant (4/6, 66% vs 2/9, 22%). Twenty-two patients (median age, 9.4 years; range, 0.2-21 years) underwent 24 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs after lung transplant. Indications for postoperative support were primary graft dysfunction (18/24, 75%), pneumonia (4/24, 16%), and others (2/24, 9%). Median time between lung transplant and institution of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was 32 hours (range, 0-1084 hours); median duration of support was 141 hours (range, 48-505 hours). Five of these patients (23%) survived to hospital discharge. Among nonsurvivors, causes of death were intractable respiratory failure (12/17, 70%) and infectious complications (4/17, 24%).
Conclusions: Need for perioperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support is associated with significant morbidity and mortality among pediatric patients receiving lung transplants. A subset of patients who can be weaned from support preoperatively have greater likelihood of survival.
Copyright 2010 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.