ScientificWorldJournal. 2013; 2013: 364236.


Objectives. Graft failure after heart transplantation led to poor outcomes. We tried to analyze the outcomes of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) rescue in graft survival after transplantation. Methods. A retrospective review of 385 consecutive heart transplants revealed 46 patients of graft failure requiring ECMO rescue (48 episodes). The pretransplant and ECMO-related variables were evaluated. Results. The median age was 37.7 ± 18.8 years, and the median support time was 155 ± 145 hours. Success rate was 47.9% (23/48). Pretransplant ECMO use was 25% (12/48) and they had 58.3% mortality. The success rate in “early” graft failures was 51.4% (18/35) and 50% for “late” graft failure. The ischemic time with graft failure (178 ± 70 min) was significantly longer than that without graft failure. Preoperative status and the longer ischemic time may be the major factors for failure. Long-term 5-year survival demonstrated significant survival difference between graft failure and nongraft failure. No survival difference was shown between “early” and “late” graft failure. Conclusions. Graft failure still carried high mortality if advanced circulatory support was required. Early graft failure and late graft failure had similar outcomes. Further investigation of the risk factors shows that ECMO does play a role of rescue in catastrophic conditions.

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