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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,632
Online ISSN 1827-191X
Chen Y. S., Ko W.-J., Chou T.-F., Chou N. K., Hsu R. B., Wang S. S., Lin F. Y., Chu S. H.
From the Department of Surgery National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
Background. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) provides an immediate support for acute deterioration of hemodynamic and pulmonary status, but what is the best decision for these critical patients? Biventricular assist device (BVAD) or left ventricular assist device (LVAD)? We proposed a protocol of step-by-step conversion from ECMO to LVAD after assurance of the reversibility of right ventricle and pulmonary function.
Methods. After femoral venoarterial ECMO was inserted for the critical patients, the left atrial drainage was added to the ECMO firstly and the femoral arterial inflow was shifted to the ascending aorta for preventing possible peripheral vascular complications. Tem-porary clamp of right heart drainage was tried to test right heart function 24 to 48 hours later. The sweep gas flow of oxygenator could be reduced gradually to test the pulmonary function. Therefore, the right heart drain and the oxygenator could be withdrawn to become a non-pulsatile LVAD or shift to pneumatic LVAD directly. There were four clinical experiences with successful conversion without temporary right ventricular assist device.
Results. All of them were able to convert their ECMO to LVAD smoothly in 8.0±2.5 days. Three of them were shifted to non-pulsatile LVAD, and one was converted to HeartMate. All but one could be weaned from the ventilator. No BVAD was needed in these patients. Due to the shortage of donor hearts, only one had the chance to undergo heart transplantation.
Conclusions. The protocol did provide a good guideline for decision-making for those under ECMO support necessitating bridge to transplantation.