Objectives: The purpose of this review was to provide a systematic review of the literature regarding the use of extracorporeal life support (ECLS) in various specialized conditions, as part of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society/Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Joint Statement on Mechanical Circulatory Support.
Data sources: MEDLINE and PubMed.
Study selection: Searches for published abstracts and articles were conducted using the following MeSH terms: extracorporeal life support, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or mechanical support, and pediatric or children.
Data extraction: Abstracts of all articles including case reports were reviewed; the full article was reviewed if the abstract indicated that it focused on extracorporeal life support for conditions other than primary respiratory disease or persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn and described outcomes such as survival to hospital discharge. Studies with potential overlapping patients were highlighted in the review process and summary results.
Data synthesis: Classification of recommendations and level of evidence are expressed in the American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association format.
Conclusions: The majority of specialized situations where extracorporeal life support is used fall into the category of class II-III evidence. Class I indications for extracorporeal life support in the pediatric population include myocarditis and in the context of acute interventions in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.