Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is a lifesaving therapeutic chance for pediatric patients in the setting of either failure to wean from cardiopulmonary bypass or failed resuscitation from cardiac arrest.
Application of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in pediatric patients with severe heart failure steadily increases. Differentiation of outcomes and survival of diverse pediatric groups is of interest for adequate therapy.
Between January 2008 and December 2016, a total of 39 pediatric patients needed veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support in our department. Patients were retrospectively divided into three groups: neonates (<30 days), infants (>30 days/<1 year), and toddlers/preadolescents (>1 year). Early outcomes as well as mid- and long-term survival up to 7-year follow-up were analyzed.
Basic demographics significantly differed in terms of age, height, and weight among the groups in accordance with the intended group categorization (p < 0.05). Survival after 30 days of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation application was equally distributed among the groups, and 44% of all patients survived. In terms of survival to discharge, no significant differences were found among groups. In total, 28% of patients survived up to 7 years. Infants were significantly more likely to undergo elective surgery (p < 0.001) and were predominantly weaned off extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, whereas need for urgent surgery (p < 0.001) was significantly higher in neonate group in comparison to other groups. Multinominal logistic regression analysis revealed significantly higher odds for need for re-exposure in infant group in comparison to toddler/preadolescent group as well as for incidence of neurological impairment of toddler/preadolescent group in comparison to neonate group (odds ratio = 14.67, p = 0.009 and odds ratio = 34.67, p = 0.004, respectively). Kaplan–Meier survival estimation analysis revealed no significant differences in terms of mid- and long-term survival among the groups (Breslow p = 0.198 and log-rank p = 0.213, respectively).
Veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is a lifesaving therapeutic chance for pediatric patients in the setting of either failure to wean from cardiopulmonary bypass or failed resuscitation from cardiac arrest. A fair part of patients could be saved by using this technology. Survival rate among the groups was similar.
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