Outcomes of perioperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use in patients undergoing lung transplantation

Joo Han Song, Ji Eun Park, Jin Gu Lee, Chang Young Lee, Kyung Sik Nam, Jee Won Suh, Anes Kim, Seung Hyun Lee, Hyun Chel Joo, Young Nam Youn, Song Yee Kim, Moo Suk Park, Hyo Chae Paik


Background: The aim of this single-center study is to review the transplant outcomes of patients receiving lung transplantation (LTx) using intraoperative extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) according to the perioperative use of ECMO.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the transplant outcomes of 107 consecutive patients who underwent LTx using intraoperative ECMO between March 2013 and August 2016 at Severance Hospital of Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea).
Results: Patients were divided into the following three groups according to the use of perioperative ECMO: only intraoperative ECMO (n=47) or extended post-operative ECMO but no bridging and no postoperative ECMO re-implantation (secondary ECMO; n=28) as Group A (n=75); bridging ECMO without secondary ECMO (n=14) as Group B; and secondary ECMO with (n=7) or without (n=11) bridging as Group C. Baseline demographics were comparable among the three groups. The mean duration of preoperative ECMO bridging was 16.4±15.6 (n=21). After a median of 17.7 months (range, 3.1–40.9 months) for survivors, the one year overall survival (OS) rates after LTx for the three groups were 76.3%±5.2% for Group A, 59.9%±14.3% for Group B, and 14.0%±9.0% for Group C (P<0.0001). The secondary ECMO (Group C) was established a mean of 7.9±5.3 days after LTx. The main cause of secondary ECMO was acute respiratory failure from pneumonia, and the main cause of death was infection-related events.
Conclusions: Our data suggests that the use of perioperative ECMO, including its extended postoperative use during LTx, is feasible and has favorable outcomes. However, as shown by the poor survival outcome after secondary ECMO, the development of solid strategy to reduce the need for secondary ECMO implantation after LTx seems important.