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Minerva Pediatrica 2010 June;62(3):233-7


language: English

Extracorporeal life support in pediatric patients with congenital heart diseases: outcome of a single centre

Coskun K. O. 1, Popov A. F. 2, Coskun S. T. 1, Blanz U. 1, Bockhorst K. 1, El Arousy M. 1, Weitkemper H. H. 1, Hinz J. 3, Schmitto J. D. 2, Körfer R. 1

1 Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart and Diabetes Centre North-Rhine Westphalia, Ruhr-University of Bochum, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany; 2 Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany; 3 Department of Anesthesiology, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany


AIM: In pediatric patients with congenital heart disease low cardiac output (LCO) is the principal complication after corrective heart surgery. In LCO refractory to all therapeutic options, mechanical circulatory support is the final method to keep these patients alive. In this present study the authors reviewed the outcome of pediatric patients who required mechanical circulatory support after corrective surgery with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ventricle assisted devices (VAD).
METHODS: A retrospective single centre consecutive cohort study was carried out in children who required different mechanical circulatory support indicated by postcardiotomy low output syndrome between 1991 and 2004. A total of 20 patients received extracorporeal life support. The indications for surgery were: 12 transposition of great arteries, 1 Bland-White-Garland syndrome, 3 tetralogy of Fallot, 1 hypoplasia of aortic arch, 1 total anomalous pulmonary vein connection, and 2 ventricle septum defect.
RESULTS: Mean age was 1.29 years. Mean duration of assist was 8.87 days. Seven patients out of 20 survived, six could be discharged after myocardial recovery from LCO and one could be discharged after successful heart transplantation. The overall mortality in patients with extracorporeal life support was 65%. The causes of death were multiorgan failure and bleeding in one case was a VAD related complication.
CONCLUSION: The use of extracorporeal life support (ECLS) shows a high mortality rate. However, ECLS can still help to keep some of those patients alive. Mechanical support devices are the ultimate chance to save time, to increase survival and to bridge the time until heart transplantation.

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