Extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation temporary support for early graft failure after cardiac transplantation

D’Alessandro, Cosimo; Aubert, Stéphane; Golmard, Jean Louis; Praschker, Beltran Levy; Luyt, Charles Edouard; Pavie, Alain; Gandjbakhch, Iradj; Leprince, Pascal
February 2010
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Feb2010, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p343
Academic Journal
Abstract: Objective: Early graft failure (EGF) is a major risk for death after heart transplantation. We studied the impact of an extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) temporary support on the operative mortality and the mean-term survival after EGF. Materials and methods: Between January 2000 and December 2006, 394 patients underwent orthotopic heart transplantation at our institution. EGF was observed in 90 (23%) patients. Fifty-four patients (14%) were treated with ECMO support, eight (2%) with other assisting devices, and 28 (7%) received maximal inotropic drug support only. Results: The overall mortality was 21% (83 patients). EGF was a major risk for death: 13% (35 patients) without EGF versus 58% (49 patients) with EGF, p <0001. Among patients supported with ECMO, 36 (67%) were weaned from the assisting device and 27 (50%) were discharged from the hospital. Overall survival was 73% at 1 year and 66% at 5 years. Absence of EGF improved long-term survival: 78% at 1 year and 70% at 5 years without EGF versus 37% at 1 year and 35% at 5 years with EGF. Patients treated with ECMO have the same 1-year conditional survival as patients not having suffered EGF: 94% at 3 years. Conclusions: ECMO support is a reliable therapeutic option in severe EGF after cardiac transplantation; furthermore, patients treated with ECMO have the same 1-year conditional survival as patients not having suffered EGF.


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