Factors Associated With Mortality in Neonates Requiring Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Cardiac Indications: Analysis of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Registry Data

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Sep;17(9):860-70. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000842.


Objectives: Survival among neonates supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for cardiac indications is 39%. Previous single-center studies have identified factors associated with mortality, but a comprehensive multivariate analysis is not available for this population. Understanding factors associated with mortality may help design treatment strategies, determine optimal timing for cannulation, and inform patient selection. This study identifies factors associated with mortality in neonates supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for cardiac indications.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Two hundred and thirty U.S. and international centers reporting extracorporeal membrane oxygenation data to the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.

Subjects: Four thousand and four seventy one neonates with congenital and acquired cardiac disease supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for cardiac indications during 2001-2011.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and results: The primary outcome measure was mortality prior to hospital discharge. Overall hospital mortality was 59%. Demographic and preextracorporeal membrane oxygenation factors associated with mortality were evaluated in a multivariable model. Factors associated with death prior to hospital discharge included lower body weight, earlier era, single ventricle physiology, lower preextracorporeal membrane oxygenation arterial pH, and longer time from intubation to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation cannulation. Lower pH was associated with increased mortality regardless of cardiac diagnosis and surgical complexity. The majority of survivors separated from extracorporeal membrane oxygenation less than 8 days after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation deployment.

Conclusions: Mortality for neonates supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for cardiac indications is high. Severity of preextracorporeal membrane oxygenation acidosis was independently associated with increased risk of mortality. Earlier initiation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation may reduce the degree and duration of acidosis and may improve survival. Further studies are needed to determine optimal timing of cannulation in this population.

MeSH terms

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / mortality*
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / mortality
  • Heart Diseases / therapy*
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors