Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation in children with refractory cardiac arrest has been shown to improve survival, however, risk factors associated with mortality and neurologic impairments are not well defined. We analyzed our recent institutional experience with pediatric extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation to identify variables associated with survival and neurocognitive outcome.
Retrospective observational study.
Pediatric cardiology and congenital heart surgery departments of a tertiary referral heart center.
Seventy-two consecutive children (median age, 0.3 yr [0.0–1.9 yr]) who underwent extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation at our institution during the study period from 2005 to 2016.
Measurements and Main Results:
Median duration of resuscitation was 60 minutes (42–80 min) and median extracorporeal support duration was 5.4 days (2.2–7.9 d). Forty-three (59.7%) extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation events occurred during off-hours, however, neither duration of resuscitation (65 min [49–89 min] vs 51 min [35–80 min]; p = 0.16) nor survival (34.9% vs 37.9%; p = 0.81) differed significantly compared to working hours. Congenital heart disease was present in 84.7% of the patients. Survival to hospital discharge was 36.1%; younger age, higher lactate levels after resuscitation, acute kidney injury, renal replacement therapy, hepatic injury, and complexity of prior cardiothoracic surgical procedures were significantly associated with mortality. At mid-term follow-up (median, 4.1 yr [3.7–6.1 yr]), 22 patients (84.6% of discharge survivors) were still alive with 77.3% having a favorable neurologic outcome. High lactate levels, arrest location other than ICU, and requirement for renal replacement therapy were associated with unfavorable neurologic outcome. Interestingly, longer duration of resuscitation did not negatively impact survival or neurologic outcome.
Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a valuable tool for the treatment of children with refractory cardiac arrest and a favorable neurologic outcome can be achieved in the majority of survivors even after prolonged resuscitation. Mortality after extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation in postcardiac surgery children is associated with procedural complexity.