Long-term outcome of children treated with neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: increasing problems with increasing age

Semin Perinatol. 2014 Mar;38(2):114-21. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2013.11.009.


As more and more critically ill neonates survive, it becomes important to evaluate long-term morbidity. This review aims to provide an up-to-date overview of medical and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children who as neonates received treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Most patients-except those with congenital diaphragmatic hernia-have normal lung function and normal growth at older age. Maximal exercise capacity is below normal and seems to deteriorate over time in the CDH population. Gross motor function problems have been reported until school age. Although mental development is usually favorable within the first years and cognition is normal at school age, many children experience problems with working speed, spatial ability tasks, and memory. In conclusion, children who survived neonatal treatment with ECMO often encounter neurodevelopmental problems at school age. Long-term follow-up is needed to recognize problems early and to offer appropriate intervention.

Keywords: Congenital diaphragmatic hernia; Exercise capacity; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Lung function; Neurodevelopment; Outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities*
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / adverse effects
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / methods*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Lung / growth & development
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Motor Skills Disorders
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / etiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome