Irreversible ligation of the right common carotid artery and right internal jugular vein is usual in venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for treatment of severe respiratory failure in neonates. Vessel ligation with ECMO may magnify risksof cerebral hemorrhage or infarction (CHI) and adversely affect neurodevelopmental outcome. To correlate CHI after ECMO with neurodevelopmental outcome, we reviewed cranial ultrasonography (US) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in 22 consecutive neonatal ECMO survivors and compared these with results of Bayley Scales of Infant Development obtained at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months of follow-up. All patients had US, and 19 had MRI. No US or MRI had focal abnormal findings attributable to ECMO; specifically, there was no evidence of CHI. Two infants had generalized cerebral atrophy, and one of these had an abnormal Bayley examination. One infant with a normal MRI had an single right focal seizure 4 days after ECMO. Of 20 infants with Bayley developmental tests at 3 to 30 months of age (mental index range, 72 to 135; motor index range, 71 to 150), only 3 were abnormal. In our experience, the incidence of CHI secondary to ECMO is less than that reported. After ECMO, the absence of intracranial hemorrhage, cerebral infarct, or cerebral atrophy on US or MRI usually correlates with normal short-term neurodevelopmental outcome.
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
- magnetic resonance imaging
- neurodevelopmental outcome
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