There has been increasing use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as bridge to heart transplant (orthotopic heart transplant [OHT]) or left ventricular assist device (LVAD) over the last decade. We aimed to provide insights on the population, outcomes, and predictors for the selection of each therapy.
Using the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Registry between 2010 and 2019, we compared in-hospital mortality and length of stay, predictors of OHT versus LVAD, and predictors of in-hospital mortality for patients with cardiogenic shock that were bridged with ECMO to OHT or LVAD. One hundred sixty-seven patients underwent LVAD versus 234 patients who underwent OHT.
The overall use of ECMO has increased from 1.7% in 2010 to 22.2% in 2019. Mortality was similar between groups (LVAD: 28.7% versus OHT: 29.1%) while length of stay was longer for OHT (LVAD: 49.6 versus OHT: 59.5 days, P=0.05). Factors associated with OHT included prior transplant (odds ratio [OR]=31.26 [CI, 3.84–780.5]), use of a temporary pacemaker (OR=6.5 [CI, 1.39–50.15]), and increased use of inotropes on ECMO (OR=3.77 [CI, 1.39–11.07]), whereas LVAD use was associated with weight (OR=0.98 [CI, 0.97–0.99]), cardiogenic shock presentation (OR=0.40 [CI, 0.21–0.78]), previous LVAD (OR=0.01 [CI, 0.0001–0.22]), respiratory failure (OR=0.28 [CI, 0.11–0.70]), and milrinone infusion (OR=0.32 [CI, 0.15–0.67]). Older age (OR=1.07 [CI, 1.02–1.12]), cannulation bleeding (OR=26.1 [CI, 4.32–221.3]), and surgical bleeding (OR=6.7 [CI, 1.26–39.9]) in patients receiving LVAD and respiratory failure (OR=5 [CI, 1.17–23.1]) and continuous renal replacement therapy (OR=3.82 [CI, 1.28–11.9]) in patients receiving OHT were associated with increased mortality.
ECMO use as a bridge to advanced therapies has increased over time, with more patients undergoing LVAD than OHT. Mortality was equal between the 2 groups while length of stay was longer for OHT.