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Venoarterial Versus Venovenous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation As Bridge to Lung Transplantation.

The data associated with this publication are within the manuscript.

Venovenous (VV) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been used as a bridge to lung transplantation with acceptable outcomes. We hypothesized that venoarterial (VA) ECMO, as part of a multidisciplinary ECMO program, yields similar outcomes as VV ECMO as a bridge in lung transplantation.

Records of all patients who had undergone ECMO with the intention to bridge to lung transplantation at University of California, Los Angeles, from January 1, 2012, to March 31, 2020, were reviewed. Baseline characteristics, in-hospital outcomes, long-term survival, and freedom from bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome were assessed.

During this interval, 58 patients were placed on ECMO with the intention to bridge to lung transplantation: 27 on VV ECMO, and 31 on VA ECMO, with a median duration of 7 and 17 days of support, respectively (P = .01). Successful bridge to lung transplantation occurred in 21 VV patients (78%) and in 26 VA patients (84%). Incidence of primary graft dysfunction III at 72 hours in the VV and the VA cohorts was 0% and 4%, respectively (P = .99). In-hospital and 90-day survival of the VV and VA groups was 100% and 96%, respectively (P = .99). Survival of the 2 groups at 3 years was not significantly different from a contemporary cohort of lung transplant recipients not bridged with ECMO.

VA and VV ECMO can both be used as a bridge to lung transplantation with high success, with short and medium-term survival similar to non-bridged lung transplant recipients. Both modes should be considered effective at bridging select candidates to lung transplantation.

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