Purpose: To determine if neuroimaging findings in infants who undergo extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) are predictive of developmental outcome.
Materials and methods: At 1-2 years of age, 183 ECMO survivors (69 female, 114 male) underwent developmental examination. Neuroimaging studies obtained at time of ECMO were assigned a neuroimaging score. Neuroimaging findings were correlated with developmental outcome.
Results: Eighty-five infants had neuroimaging abnormalities. Development was normal in 105 infants, suspect in 37, and delayed in 41. Mean neuroimaging scores were significantly worse in survivors with delayed development (P < or = .0001). The sensitivity and specificity of normal neuroimaging findings in prediction of normal outcome were 65% and 63%, respectively. Survivors with nonhemorrhagic abnormalities had a higher risk of delayed development than did those with isolated hemorrhagic abnormalities (39% vs 21%).
Conclusion: Although they cannot be used alone to predict outcome, early neuroimaging scores can be used to assign risk categories for developmental outcome.