Purpose of review Lung transplantation
can be performed off-pump, with sequential one-lung ventilation, or using mechanical circulatory support
(MCS). MCS can either be in the form of cardiopulmonary bypass
(CPB) or veno-arterial or veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
(VA ECMO or VV ECMO).
This article reviews the indications, benefits and limitations of these different techniques and evaluates their effect on outcomes.
Recently, there has been a shift toward intraoperative ECMO support and away from CPB. The first results of this strategy are promising. The use of intraoperative ECMO with the possibility of prolongation of MCS into the postoperative period has been shown to lead to improved survival when compared with lung transplants not receiving ECMO. Recipients of organs from extended criteria donors show encouraging survival rates when the lungs are reperfused using MCS. A recent metaanalysis comparing ECMO versus CPB showed favourable outcomes supporting the use of ECMO despite not finding a difference in mortality between the two methods.
The trend toward ECMO and away from cardiopulmonary bypass
is backed up with good survival rates. However, to date, there has not been a randomized controlled trial to further guide the choice of MCS strategy for lung transplantation