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Ann Thorac Surg. 2003 Nov;76(5):1435-41; discussion 1441-2.

Outcome of pediatric patients treated with extracorporeal life support after cardiac surgery.

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Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) has been used for over two decades in select patients after cardiac surgery. We previously described factors associated with death in this population. We now review our recent experience to reassess factors related to mortality.


All pediatric patients who received ECLS support within 7 days after surgery between July 1995 and June 2001 were examined to describe clinical features associated with survival. We compared the results with our prior report to assess changes in practice and outcome.


Seventy-four patients were followed. Fifty percent survived to discharge. Hospital survival was not significantly related to patient age, cannulation site, or indication. Thirty-five percent of patients required hemofiltration while on ECLS and were significantly less likely to survive (23% vs 65%). A multivariate analysis combining all children from our prior report with the present cohort revealed that patients who received hemofiltration were five times more likely to die (odds ratio 5.01, 95% confidence interval 2.11-11.88). Children with an adequate two-ventricular repair had lower risk of death (odds ratio 0.42, 95% confidence interval 0.19-0.91) after adjusting for patient age, study period, and hours elapsed before initiation of ECLS after surgery.


Patients with an adequate two-ventricle repair have significantly higher hospital survival, whereas those with single ventricle physiology or need for dialysis have decreased survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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