ECMO assisted angioplasty for cardiomyopathy patients with unstable angina.
Patients who are otherwise unsuitable candidates for coronary bypass surgery or standard coronary angioplasty (PTCA) may be successfully treated with PTCA during ECMO. Five patients (3 men, 2 women), with a mean age of 57 years, are reported on here. They were not considered good candidates for standard therapy because of poor left ventricular function (mean EF, 24; range, 16 to 28%). Patients were supported by percutaneous femoral bypass using a BARD CPS machine, and underwent successful PTCA of either two vessels (three patients) or three vessels (two patients); in addition, one patient had dilatation of a stenotic aortic valve. Patients were supported with ECMO for 26 to 140 (mean 104) minutes, and required transfusion with 0 to 4 (mean 2) units of blood during or after the procedure. Complications included groin hematoma in two patients. All were discharged within 4 days of the procedure. Follow-up of the patients has been completed (4-7 mo) with no further hospitalizations for unstable angina. All patients remain in NYHA Class II or III. These data suggest that ECMO-assisted angioplasty is a safe and effective method of palliation of unstable angina associated with cardiomyopathy.