Outcomes of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation as a Bridge to Lung Transplantation.


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as a bridge to lung transplantation (BTT) has become a critical component of caring for patients with end-stage lung disease. This study examined outcomes of patients who received ECMO as a BTT.

Statistical analysis was performed on data gathered retrospectively from the electronic medical records of adult patients who received ECMO as BTT at Columbia University Medical Center from April 2009 through July 2018.

A total of 121 adult patients were placed on ECMO as BTT, and 70 patients (59%) were successfully bridged to lung transplantation. Simplified Acute Physiology Score II, unplanned endotracheal intubation, renal replacement therapy, and cerebrovascular accident were identified as independent predictors of unsuccessful BTT. Ambulation was the only independent predictor of successful BTT (odds ratio, 7.579; 95% confidence interval, 2.158 to 26.615; p = 0.002). Among the 64 patients (91%) who survived to hospital discharge, survival was 88% at 1 year and 83% at 3 years. Propensity matching between BTT and non-BTT lung transplant recipients did not show a significant difference in survival (log-rank = 0.53) despite significant differences in the lung allocation score (median, 92.2 [interquartile range, 89.0 to 94.2] vs 49.6 [interquartile range, 40.6 to 72.3], p < 0.01).

ECMO can be used successfully to bridge patients with end-stage lung disease to lung transplantation. When implemented by an experienced team with adherence to stringent protocols and patient selection, outcomes in BTT patients were comparable to patients who did not receive pretransplant support.

  • Agerstrand C
  • Bacchetta M
  • Brodie D
  • Grogan EL
  • Minko E
  • Salna M
  • Sonett J
  • Tipograf Y
PubMed ID
Appears In
Ann Thorac Surg, 2019, 107 (5)