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Ann Thorac Surg. 1993 Jan;55(1):233-7.

Circulatory support in infants and children.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, St. Louis University Hospital, MO 63110-0250.


Although the last decade has brought dramatic improvement in patient selection and postoperative management of adults and children undergoing advanced mechanical circulatory support, technological advances have been largely limited to the adult population. Intraaortic balloon pumps are technically feasible, but their efficacy has been questioned and their use has been limited in children. Over the last decade, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation has become the most commonly used method of mechanical circulatory support in children who have severe cardiac failure after cardiac operations. Additionally, a small number of infants and children have been supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a bridge to cardiac transplantation or as temporary support during reversible myocardial failure due to lesions such as viral myocarditis. More recently, a small number of pediatric patients have been supported with centrifugal and pneumatic devices, particularly after cardiac operations. Surprisingly, many of these patients did well with left ventricular support only. The overall children's survival rates in the myocardial recovery group are better than those in adults. However, current pediatric devices do not provide support for greater than a few weeks, making bridging to transplantation less feasible than in adults.

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