Objective: Serial Doppler ultrasonography and long-term neurodevelopmental follow-up outcomes were evaluated prospectively in neonates whose right common carotid artery (RCCA) was reconstructed after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Methods: Children with RCCA reconstruction (n = 34) were monitored for 3.5 to 4.5 years by Doppler ultrasonography for arterial patency, and 28 had IQ testing by 5 years. A comparison group consisted of 35 infants who had RCCA ligation after ECMO. Neonatal electroencephalograms and computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging scans were also compared.
Results: Reconstructions were successful (<50% RCCA stenosis by Doppler ultrasonography) in 26 (76%) of 34 children, 3 (9%) had >/=50% stenosis, and 5 (15%) had occlusion. No significant differences were seen between reconstructed and ligated groups in neonatal complications or ECMO courses. Occurrence of marked neonatal electroencephalographic abnormalities did not differ between groups. Abnormalities on computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging scans (4 of 31 vs 11 of 29, P =.025) and cerebral palsy (0 of 34 vs 5 of 35, P =.054) were more common in infants with RCCA ligation. No differences were seen in developmental or IQ scores between the 2 groups, and 4 in each group had cognitive handicaps (at least 1 IQ score <70).
Conclusions: Most RCCA reconstructions remained patent, with 24% showing significant stenosis or occlusion. Compared with a historical control group, patients with RCCA reconstruction had fewer brain scan abnormalities and tended to be less likely to have cerebral palsy. RCCA reconstruction after venoarterial ECMO may improve outcome.