Use of extracorporeal life support in patients with congenital heart disease.
OBJECTIVES: To review a large experience with extracorporeal life support in patients with congenital heart disease. To determine the major causes of mortality and morbidity in order to improve the results of using this technology in this patient population. DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. PATIENTS: Twenty-five patients between the ages of 1 day and 8 yrs. These patients had congenital heart disease and were clinically felt to be at high risk for death caused by cardiac failure or by respiratory failure complicated by congenital heart disease. INTERVENTIONS: All patients in this report were placed on extracorporeal life support to allow recovery of myocardial or pulmonary function. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of these 25 patients, 52% were weaned from bypass support and 40% survived to discharge. Patients who were not weaned from extracorporeal life support characteristically suffered from irreversible neurologic injury, multiple organ failure, or bleeding complications. Only one patient died of irreversible cardiac failure. CONCLUSIONS: Extracorporeal life support can be useful in supporting patients with congenital heart disease with life-threatening cardiac or pulmonary failure. Improvements in limiting neurologic and bleeding complications may lead to improvements in the use of extracorporeal life support for this indication. However, prospective, randomized studies are needed to appreciate the role of extracorporeal life support in these patients.
Delius, RE; Bove, EL; Meliones, JN; Custer, JR; Moler, FW; Crowley, D; Amirikia, A; Behrendt, DM; Bartlett, RH
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