“Heart and kidney transplant from donor with recent veno-arterial extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation”

Nicolas A. Brozzi, Renzo O. Cifuentes, Jose M. Figueiro, Ali Ghodsizad, Matthias Loebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objetives: ECMO is progressively being adopted as a last resort to stabilize patients receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECMO CPR). A significant number of these patients will present recovery of end-organ function, but evolve with brain death, accounting for only 30% of patients discharged from the hospital alive. Harvesting organs from donors on VA ECMO has recently been proposed as a strategy to expand the pool of available organs for transplantation. Methods: We present a case of combined heart and kidney transplantation from a brain death donor with recent out of hospital cardiac arrest rescued with eCPR. Results: A 31 year old male patient was admitted to local hospital with diagnosis of drowning after seizure episode. Patient received two rounds of CPR for 8 and 30 minutes respectively, and required emergency insertion of VA ECMO. Patient developed compartment syndrome of right lower extremity (RLE) with CPK = 30,720, prompting discontinuation of ECMO support within 48 hours as cardiac function had recovered, reflected on echocardiographic and enzymatic parameters. Patient was declared brain death and became organ donor. Multiple organ procurement was performed. Combined heart and right kidney transplant was then performed on a 61-year-old male with uneventful course, and with normal function of all implanted allografts at 3 months follow up. Conclusion: Our experience supports the concept that VA ECMO is not a contraindication for solid organ donation. Individual evaluation of organ function can lead to successful transplantation of multiple organs from donors with recent history of VA ECMO support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2814-2816
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of cardiac surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • ECMO
  • ECPR
  • perfusion
  • transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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