Nature of the underlying heart disease affects survival in pediatric patients undergoing extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Nov;148(5):2367-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.03.023. Epub 2014 Mar 21.


Objective: To describe the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in acute resuscitation after cardiac arrest in pediatric patients with heart disease, with reference to patient selection and predictors of outcome.

Methods: A retrospective medical record review was performed of all patients aged ≤21 years with heart disease who had undergone ECMO for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) at Texas Children's Hospital from January 2005 to December 2012. The most recent Pediatric Overall Performance Category score was determined from the patients' medical records.

Results: During the study period, 62 episodes of ECPR occurred in 59 patients, with 27 (46%) surviving to hospital discharge and 25 (43%) alive at the most recent follow-up visit. The overall survival to discharge for patients with myocardial failure (myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, or after transplantation) and structural heart disease was similar (40% vs 50%, P=.6). No patient with restrictive cardiomyopathy survived; 1 patient (13%) in ECPR group after late cardiac graft failure survived to discharge. Survival to discharge was greater for patients who were intubated (70%) at cardiac arrest (P=.001). The presence of pre-existing acute kidney injury at cardiac arrest (62%) was associated with greater mortality (P=.059). A Pediatric Overall Performance Category score of ≤2 (indicating good neurologic performance) was present in 68% of the survivors; 7 patients (87%) with a score>2 had abnormal imaging findings (P=.01).

Conclusions: ECPR was associated with modest survival in pediatric patients with heart disease; however, this was associated in part with the underlying disease and pre-existing comorbidities, including the presence of acute kidney injury.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Kidney Injury / mortality
  • Age Factors
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / adverse effects
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / mortality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation* / adverse effects
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation* / mortality
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / diagnosis
  • Heart Arrest / mortality
  • Heart Arrest / physiopathology
  • Heart Arrest / therapy*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Texas
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome