Intracranial abnormalities in infants treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: imaging with US and CT

Radiology. 1987 Dec;165(3):675-8. doi: 10.1148/radiology.165.3.3317499.


Findings at neuroimaging in 100 consecutive infants treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) are presented. Imaging in these infants consisted of pretreatment cranial ultrasonography (US), daily US studies while on ECMO, and follow-up cranial computed tomography (CT) after treatment. There were findings of abnormalities in 43 patients. Thirty had intracranial bleeding, often of unusual extent and distribution. Thirteen additional infants had nonhemorrhagic abnormalities alone. Bleeding considered to be major was seen in 12% of infants. Large parenchymal hemorrhages and infarcts, cerebellar hemorrhages, and diffuse edema were the most significant abnormalities, with a 50% mortality (eight of 16 patients). No lateralization was noted with respect to distribution of bleeding sites or areas of nonhemorrhagic abnormalities. US was a sensitive but imperfect screening tool for intracranial abnormalities. Abnormalities missed with US included peripheral and small parenchymal lesions, subarachnoid hemorrhage, cerebral atrophy, and sagittal sinus thrombosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Brain / abnormalities*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Edema / diagnosis
  • Brain Edema / mortality
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / mortality
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Infarction / mortality
  • Extracorporeal Circulation* / instrumentation
  • Extracorporeal Circulation* / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Oxygenators, Membrane*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / mortality
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Ultrasonography*