Clinical experience with 202 adults receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for cardiac failure: Survival at five years

Nicholas G. Smedira*, Nader Moazami, Camille M. Golding, Patrick M. McCarthy, Carolyn Apperson-Hansen, Eugene H. Blackstone, Delos M. Cosgrove, Robert H. Bartlett, James Magovern, Shyam K. Kolvekar, Marko I. Turina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

267 Scopus citations


Objectives: We sought to determine 5-year survival after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for cardiac failure and its predictors, to assess survival and its predictors after bridging to transplantation or weaning from extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and to identify factors influencing the likelihood of these outcomes. Methods: Two hundred two adults (mean age, 55 ± 14 years) were supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation between 1992 and July 1999 after cardiac failure. Follow-up extended to 7.5 years (mean, 3.8 ± 2 years). Multivariable hazard function analysis identified predictors of survival, and logistic regression identified the determinants of bridging or weaning. Results: Survival at 3 days, 30 days, and 5 years was 76%, 38%, and 24%, respectively. Patients surviving 30 days had a 63% 5-year survival. Risk factors (P < .1) included older age, reoperation, and thoracic aorta repair. Forty-eight patients were bridged to transplantation, and 71 were weaned with intent for survival. Survival was similar after either outcome (44% vs 40% 5-year survival, respectively). Failure to bridge or wean included (P < .03) renal and hepatic failure on extracorporeal membrane oxygenator support, occurrence of a neurologic event, and absence of infection. The dominant modes of death were cardiac failure and multisystem organ failure. Conclusions: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is versatile and salvages some patients who would otherwise die. Improvement in intermediate-term outcome will require a multidisciplinary approach to protect organ function and limit organ injury before and during this support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-102
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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