Left atrial decompression using cardiac catheterization techniques has been described at centers with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation programs. Left atrial decompression can decrease cardiogenic edema, minimize ventricular distension, and allow myocardial recovery. We describe Boston Children’s Hospital’s experience with percutaneous left atrial decompression techniques, acute outcomes, and clinical impact of left atrial decompression in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients.Subjects:
Patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation undergoing percutaneous left atrial decompression were identified and assigned to two groups 1) myocarditis/suspected myocarditis or 2) nonmyocarditis cardiac disease.Interventions:
Three techniques including vent placement, static balloon dilation, and stent implantation were used.Measurements and Main Results:
Change in left atrial pressure and severity of pulmonary edema on chest radiography pre and post procedure, impact of timing and technique of left atrial decompression on resolution of left atrial hypertension, and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation survival were evaluated. Furthermore, we evaluated the presence of residual atrial septal defect during follow-up. Percutaneous left atrial decompression was performed in 44 of 419 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation cases (10.5%) and was frequently used for myocarditis (22 of 44 patients; 50%). Techniques included 25 vents, 17 static balloon dilations, and two stents. All techniques were equally successful and significantly reduced left atrial pressure and pulmonary edema. Survival to hospital discharge was not associated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation duration prior to left atrial decompression, change in left atrial pressure, or technique used. Persistent atrial septal defect was noted in five surviving patients (excluding transplant recipients and deceased), two required closure.Conclusions:
Left atrial decompression can be performed effectively in children on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation using various percutaneous techniques. Reduction in pulmonary venous congestion is usually evident by chest radiography within 48 hours of intervention. Persistent atrial septal defect may require closure at the time of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation decannulation or during long-term follow-up.