Background Patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) are given priority listing status for heart transplant (HT). Data on post-HT outcomes for adults with ECMO support at the time of HT are limited. Methods We analyzed data from the United Network for Organ Registry (UNOS) registry for 157 ECMO-supported adults (age ≥ 18 years) undergoing HT after January 1, 2000. Data at the time of HT were examined for their association with post-transplant mortality using multivariable Cox proportional hazard analyses. Results Patients (69.4% males; mean age, 46.0 ± 15.6 years; 15.9% African Americans) were monitored for median of 0.55 years (interquartile range, 0.04–4.5). Seventy patients (44.6%) died during follow-up (survival at 1 year was 57.8%), of which 43 (61.4%) died within 30 days post-HT. For patients surviving the first 30 days after transplant, long-term survival was acceptable (82.3% at 1 year and 76.2% at 5 years). Prevalence of immediate post-HT complications, such as stroke and need for dialysis, were 10.1% and 28.1%, respectively. Post-HT survival did not differ between those who received an allograft before and after January 1, 2009 (univariate hazard ratio, 0.84; 95% confidence interval, 0.51–1.38; p = 0.48). Among the predictors identified for 30-day and long-term mortality were recipient history of renal insufficiency (RI; defined as estimated glomerular filtration rate < 45 ml/min/1.73 m2 or dialysis) and mechanical ventilation (MV; interaction p < 0.05); those with both MV and RI had significantly poorer post-transplant survival (29.4% and 12.5% for 30-day and 1-year survival, respectively) compared with those without (78.7% and 71.4% for 30-day and 1-year survival, respectively). Conclusions Post-HT mortality did not change for ECMO-supported adults in the contemporary era, and those with RI and MV had significantly poorer post-transplant survival. A critical review of priority listing status for ECMO-supported patients is warranted for optimal allocation and outcomes of cardiac allografts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine