Cureus. 2015 Apr; 7(4): e263.


Background: Venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) is utilized for cardiopulmonary failure. We aimed to qualify and quantify the predictors of morbidity and mortality in infants requiring VA-ECMO.

Methods: Data was collected from 170 centers participating in the extracorporeal life support organization (ELSO) registry. Relationships between in-hospital mortality and risk factors were assessed using logistic regression. Survival was defined as being discharged from the hospital.

Results: Six hundred and sixty-two eligible records were reviewed. Mortality occurred in 303 (46%) infants. Congenital diaphragmatic hernia patients (OR=3.83, 95% CI 1.96-7.49, p<0.001), cardiac failure with associated shock (OR= 2.90, 95% CI 1.46-5.77, p=0.002), and pulmonary failure including respiratory distress syndrome (OR=4.06, 95% CI 1.72-9.58, p=0.001) had the highest odds of mortality in this cohort. Birth weight (BW) < 3 kg (OR=1.83, 95% CI 1.21-2.78, p=0.004), E-CPR (OR=3.35, 95% CI 1.57-7.15, p=0.002), hemofiltration (OR=2.04, 95% CI 1.32-3.16, p=0.001), and dialysis (OR=6.13, 95% CI 1.70-22.1, p<0.001) were all independent predictors of mortality.

Conclusion: Infants requiring VA-ECMO experience diverse sequelae and their mortality are high.

Keywords: venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (va-ecmo), infants, mortality, morbidity

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