There is a reported 5–20 % incidence of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) following stage I palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). This study compares the interstage mortality of HLHS patients supported with ECMO (HLHS-ECMO) to those who were not supported with ECMO (HLHS-nECMO) using the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Initiative database. Patients with HLHS who survived to hospital discharge after stage I palliation were analyzed. HLHS-ECMO patients were compared to HLHS-non-ECMO patients with respect to demographics, surgical variables, and interstage survival. A total of 931 patients were identified in the database. Sixty-six (7.1 %) patients were supported with ECMO during their stage I palliation admission. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups with respect to demographics or anatomic subtype. HLHS-ECMO patients were more likely to have a preoperative risk factor identified (62 vs. 48 %, p = 0.03) or require ECMO prior to stage I palliation (3 vs. 0.5 %, p = 0.03). HLHS-ECMO patients had a significantly higher incidence of death or transplant versus the HLHS-nECMO group (18 vs. 9 %, p = 0.03). Despite survival to discharge, patients with HLHS requiring ECMO after their palliation continue to have an increased risk of death/cardiac transplant versus patients that do not require ECMO. ECMO use is likely a marker for a high-risk patient group. These patients may benefit from closer follow-up during the interstage period.
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome