Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a bridge to cardiac transplantation in children

Kozo Ishino, Yuguo Weng, Vladimir Alexi-Meskishvili, Matthias Loebe, Frank Uhlemann, Peter E. Lange, Roland Hetzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The feasibility and efficacy of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as a bridge to cardiac transplantation was examined in 6 pediatric patients who suffered irreversible myocardial failure after undergoing surgery for congenital heart defects. The mean time of ECMO support was 260.5 h, range, 101-402 h. Three patients underwent transplantation, 2 of whom are long-term survivors. Progressive hypotension as a result of capillary leak syndrome precluded further ECMO support in the other 3 patients. Overall, 2 of the 6 patients survived. Major complications were encountered in 4 patients including bleeding in 2, a seizure in 1, and renal failure in 3, 2 of whom recovered renal function after transplantation. Infection did not occur in any of the 6 patients. Exchanging ECMO components was performed with no difficulties; these exchanges included a centrifugal pump once for 2 patients and a membrane oxygenator once for 3 patients. Our results indicate that ECMO can safely keep critically ill pediatric transplant candidates alive for more than 1 week with a low incidence of multiple organ failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-732
Number of pages5
JournalArtificial Organs
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1996


  • Bridge
  • Centrifugal pump
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Extracorporeal oxygenation
  • Heart transplantation
  • Renal failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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