J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2013 Jul-Sep; 18(3): 227–235.
Kathryn L. Wierer, PharmD,1Rachel A. Pagryzinski, PharmD,1 and Qun Xiang, MS2


OBJECTIVES To determine whether glycemic control has an effect on outcomes for pediatric patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy, while controlling for multiple factors.

METHODS A single-center retrospective chart review was performed on 82 patients who required ECMO from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2010. All glucose concentrations collected while patients were on ECMO were analyzed; multiple other factors that may have affected mortality were also recorded. Primary outcome was mortality, and secondary outcomes were length of time on ECMO and length of time until death or discharge from the hospital.

RESULTS Of 82 patients, 53 patients survived ECMO (64.6%). Glucose control had no effect on survival of patients on ECMO (p=0.56), even when controlling for multiple factors (p=0.48). Similarly, statistical evaluation showed no differences for hospital mortality in relationship to controlled serum glucose (p=0.50). Patients with controlled glucose spent an average of 31.5% more time on ECMO than non-controlled patients (p=0.048).

CONCLUSIONS In this study, glycemic control, defined as serum glucose concentration between 60 mg/dL and 250 mg/dL for >95% of the time on ECMO, had no statistically significant effect on mortality for patients on ECMO. Future studies could focus on tighter glucose control or specific dextrose/glucose protocols to evaluate whether improved glucose control would have an effect on morbidity and mortality.

INDEX TERMS: blood glucose, ECMO, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, insulin, morbidity, pediatric intensive care

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