Background Management of mechanical circulatory support in children with congenital heart disease (CHD) is challenging due to physiologic variations and anatomic limitations to device placement. In this study we examine the use of Berlin Heart EXCOR in CHD patients. Methods CHD patients were identified from the EXCOR Pediatric Study data set (2007 to 2010). Mortality and serious adverse events were compared between CHD and non-CHD cohorts, and predictors of poor outcomes in the CHD cohort were identified. Results CHD was present in 29% (n = 59, 18 with 1-ventricle physiology) of all EXCOR patients (N = 204). Successful bridge (transplant or wean) was less likely in CHD patients compared with non-CHD patients (48% vs 80%; p < 0.01). Among CHD patients, no neonates, 25% of infants (30 days to 1 year) and 65% of children (>1 year) were successfully bridged. Pre-implant congenital heart surgery (CHS) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) on the same admission occurred in 60% of children ≤1 year of age (83% of neonates, 50% of infants), with 8% survival. Regardless of age, patients who did not have CHS and ECMO had 61% survival. Smaller pump, pre-implant bilirubin >1.2 mg/dl and renal dysfunction were independently associated with mortality. Conclusions End-organ function at implant reliably predicts adverse outcomes and should be considered when making implant decisions. EXCOR use in neonates and infants with CHD should be approached cautiously. If patients have undergone pre-implant CHS and ECMO, EXCOR support may not provide any survival benefit. EXCOR support in non-infants with CHD is challenging but can be consistently successful with appropriate patient selection.
- congenital heart disease
- congenital heart surgery
- mechanical circulatory support
- ventricular assist device