Clinical outcomes of neonatal and pediatric extracorporeal life support: A seventeen-year, single institution experience

Artif Organs. 2019 Nov;43(11):1085-1091. doi: 10.1111/aor.13512. Epub 2019 Jul 15.


The objective of this study was to describe a single-center experience with neonatal and pediatric extracorporeal life support (ECLS) and compare patient-related outcomes with those of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Registry. A retrospective review of subject characteristics, outcomes, and complications of patients who received the ECLS at Penn State Health Children's Hospital (PSHCH) from 2000 to 2016 was performed. Fisher's exact test was used to compare the PSHCH outcomes and complications to the ELSO Registry report. Data from 118 patients were included. Survival to discontinuation of the ECLS was 70.3% and 65.2% to discharge/transfer. Following circuitry equipment changes, the survival to discharge/transfer improved for both neonatal (<29 days) and pediatric (29 days to <18 years) patients. The most common complications associated with ECLS were clinical seizures, intracranial hemorrhage, and culture-proven infection. ECLS for pulmonary support appeared to be associated with a higher risk of circuit thrombus and cannula problems. When compared to the ELSO Registry, low volume ECLS centers, like our institution, can have outcomes that are no different or statistically better as noted with neonatal and pediatric cardiac patients. Pediatric patients requiring pulmonary support appeared to experience more mechanical complications during ECLS suggesting the need for ongoing technological improvement.

Keywords: ELSO Registry; centrifugal pumps; complications; extracorporeal life support; neonatal; outcomes; pediatric; polymethylpentene oxygenators; roller pumps.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation* / adverse effects
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation* / instrumentation
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / etiology
  • Male
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome