BACKGROUND: Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) as a bridge to lung transplantation is increasingly used, but information on long-term outcome is scarce. We aim to summarize our experience with an emphasis on health-related quality of life. Secondary outcomes include ICU and hospital stay and pre-and post-transplant mortality. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of all adult subjects receiving ECLS as a bridge to lung transplantation from 2010 to 2014 was reviewed and compared with all adult subjects who underwent bilateral lung transplantation in the same period. For the ECLS group, the general health status was assessed with the use of the EuroQol Group 5-Dimension Self-Report Questionnaire. RESULTS: A total of 130 bilateral transplants were performed, 9 transplants were performed after ECLS therapy. Another 11 subjects died on the waiting list while receiving ECLS. Quality of life, at 12 months after surgery, from a subject's perspective was comparable in both groups with a median score of 80 on the visual analog scale. The median (interquartile range [IQR]) EuroQol Group 5-Dimension Self-Report Questionnaire 3L score from the societal perspective in the ECLS group was 0.73 (0.5-0.9). Median (IQR) ICU stay was 25 d (9-68 d) for the ECLS group versus 7 d (4-18 d) for the control group (P = .001), and in-hospital stay was 66 d (40-114 d) versus 42 d (29-62 d) (P = .004). CONCLUSIONS: ECLS can be used as a bridge to lung transplantation. A significant number of subjects were not bridged successfully due to different reasons. Outcomes after successful transplantation after ECLS might be comparable with the general population undergoing lung transplantation in terms of quality of life, lung function, performance tests, and mortality, although ICU and hospital stay are longer.
- lung transplantation
- extracorporeal life support
- health-related quality of life
- quality of life