Right heart failure develops in lung transplantation candidates on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support and increases mortality. The safety and feasibility of the oxy-right ventricular assist device (oxyRVAD) as a bridge to lung transplantation in severe right heart failure caused by terminal lung disease have not been evaluated.
We retrospectively reviewed 14 patients who used oxyRVAD for bridging of right heart failure to lung transplantation.
The major cause of lung transplantation was acute exacerbation of interstitial lung disease (78.6%), and the median venovenous ECMO duration was 7 d. Before oxyRVAD, median mean pulmonary artery pressure was 60.5 mm Hg (interquartile range [IQR], 54–68), and the median peak tricuspid regurgitation velocity was 3.9 m/s (IQR, 3.7–4.1). After oxyRVAD conversion, median mean pulmonary artery pressure was 60.5 mm Hg (IQR, 57.3–65), and the median peak tricuspid regurgitation velocity was 2.9 (IQR, 2.6–3.2). All patients were hemodynamically stable (median arterial blood pressure, 83 mm Hg; median heart rate, 79 bpm). Three patients developed pulmonary congestion (21.4%), and all patients stabilized within 24 h. Active rehabilitation during ECMO was possible in all patients, and the median duration of awake state during ECMO was 14 d. A total of 10 patients were bridged successfully to lung transplantation, and hospital survival rates were 90%.
OxyRVAD stabilized hemodynamic parameters without fatal complications, permitted the discontinuation of sedation, and allowed active rehabilitation in patients with severe right heart failure. OxyRVAD may be a feasible option for bridging of right heart failure to lung transplantation.