Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Group B Streptococcal Sepsis in Neonates: A Retrospective Study of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Registry

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2020 Aug;21(8):e505-e512. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000002320.


Objectives: Neonatal group B streptococcal sepsis remains a leading cause of neonatal sepsis globally and is characterized by unique epidemiologic features. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation has been recommended for neonatal septic shock refractory to conventional management, but data on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in group B streptococcal sepsis are scarce. We aimed to assess outcomes of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in neonates with group B streptococcal sepsis.

Design: Retrospective study of the international registry of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.

Setting: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation centers contributing to Extracorporeal Life Support Organization registry.

Patients: Patients less than or equal to 30 days treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and a diagnostic code of group B streptococcal sepsis between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2016.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and main results: In-hospital mortality was the primary outcome. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models to predict mortality were established. One hundred ninety-two runs in 191 neonates were identified meeting eligibility criteria, of which 55 of 191 (29%) died. One hundred thirty-seven (71%) were treated with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. One hundred sixty-nine runs (88%) occurred during the first week of life for early-onset sepsis and 23 (12%) after 7 days of life. The in-hospital mortality for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation used after 7 days of life was significantly higher compared with early-onset sepsis (65% vs 24%; p < 0.01). In addition, lower weight, lower pH, lower bicarbonate, and surfactant administration precannulation were significantly associated with mortality (p < 0.05). Adjusted analyses confirmed that age greater than 7 days, lower weight, and lower pH were associated with higher mortality (p < 0.05). One hundred fifty-one of 192 runs (79%) experienced a major complication. The number of major complications during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was associated significantly with mortality (p < 0.001; adjusted odds ratio, 1.27 [1.08-1.49; p = 0.004]).

Conclusions: This large registry-based study indicates that treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for neonatal group B streptococcal sepsis is associated with survival in the majority of patients. Future quality improvement interventions should aim to reduce the burden of major extracorporeal membrane oxygenation-associated complications which affected four out of five neonatal group B streptococcal sepsis extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Registries
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sepsis* / therapy