Neurodevelopmental, educational and behavioral outcome at 8 years after neonatal ECMO: a nationwide multicenter study

Intensive Care Med. 2013 Sep;39(9):1584-93. doi: 10.1007/s00134-013-2973-1. Epub 2013 Jun 6.


Purpose: Reporting neurodevelopmental outcome of 8-year-old children treated with neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Methods: In a follow-up study in 135 8-year-old children who received neonatal ECMO between 1996 and 2001 we assessed intelligence (Revised Amsterdam Intelligence Test), concentration (Bourdon-Vos test), eye-hand coordination (Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration) and behavior (Child Behavior Checklist and Teacher Report Form).

Results: Intelligence fell within normal range (mean IQ 99.9, SD 17.7, n = 125) with 91 % of the children following regular education. Significantly more children attended special education (9 %) or received extra support in regular education (39 %) compared with normative data. Slower working speed (χ(2) = 132.36, p < 0.001) and less accuracy (χ(2) = 12.90, p < 0.001) were found on the Bourdon-Vos test (n = 123) compared with normative data. Eye-hand coordination fell within the normal range (mean 97.6, SD 14.3, n = 126); children with congenital diaphragmatic hernia scored lowest but still normally (mean 91.0, SD 16.4, n = 28). Mothers (n = 117) indicated more somatic and attention behavior problems; teachers (n = 115) indicated more somatic, social, thought, aggression and total problems compared with normative data. Mothers indicated more somatic problems than teachers (p = 0.003); teachers reported more attention problems than mothers (p = 0.036; n = 111).

Conclusions: Eight-year-old children treated with neonatal ECMO fall in the normal range of intelligence with problems with concentration and behavior. Long-term follow-up for children treated with neonatal ECMO should focus on early detection of (subtle) learning deficits.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attention*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior*
  • Educational Status
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intelligence*
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Treatment Outcome