Outcomes of Pediatric Patients Treated With Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Intractable Supraventricular Arrhythmias

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2020 Aug;21(8):e547-e556. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000002315.


Objectives: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is used to support refractory cardiorespiratory failure. Outcomes and complications when extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is used to support cardiorespiratory failure secondary to arrhythmia in pediatric patients remain poorly defined. Our purpose is to describe pediatric patients requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support for supraventricular arrhythmias in the context of normal cardiac anatomy and congenital heart disease and identify patient/peri-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation variables associated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation-related complications and survival.

Design: Retrospective multicenter review from 1993 to 2016.

Setting: Extracorporeal Life Support Organization registry.

Subjects: Patients younger than 21 years old requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support for supraventricular arrhythmias.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and main results: A total of 342 patients were identified (weight, 3.8 kg [3.2-7.5 kg]; age at extracorporeal membrane oxygenation initiation, 24 d [6-222]; 61% male). Sixty-five percentage survived to hospital discharge. Complications were frequent (85%) and most commonly cardiac related (31%). In multivariable modeling, mortality was associated with congenital heart disease, time from intubation to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation initiation, use of bicarbonate prior to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation duration, and the presence of a complication. The presence of any complication was associated with a three-fold increase in the odds of death. In subgroup analysis of isolated supraventricular arrhythmias patients, similar patient and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation characteristics were associated with outcome. A lower pre-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation pH and PCO2 and site of venous cannulation were associated with complications (p < 0.02).

Conclusions: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use for medically refractory supraventricular arrhythmias was associated with a 65% survival to hospital discharge. However, there was a high rate of complications, the presence of which was associated with decreased survival. Complications appeared to be related to pre-extracorporeal membrane oxygenation clinical status and whether earlier extracorporeal membrane oxygenation cannulation prior to patient deterioration would improve outcomes needs additional evaluation.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy
  • Child
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult