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Semin Perinatol. 2014 Mar;38(2):114-21. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2013.11.009.

Long-term outcome of children treated with neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: increasing problems with increasing age.

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Intensive Care and Department of Pediatric Surgery, Erasmus MC-Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 60, Rotterdam NL-3015 GJ, The Netherlands. Electronic address:
Department of Neonatology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


As more and more critically ill neonates survive, it becomes important to evaluate long-term morbidity. This review aims to provide an up-to-date overview of medical and neurodevelopmental outcomes in children who as neonates received treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Most patients-except those with congenital diaphragmatic hernia-have normal lung function and normal growth at older age. Maximal exercise capacity is below normal and seems to deteriorate over time in the CDH population. Gross motor function problems have been reported until school age. Although mental development is usually favorable within the first years and cognition is normal at school age, many children experience problems with working speed, spatial ability tasks, and memory. In conclusion, children who survived neonatal treatment with ECMO often encounter neurodevelopmental problems at school age. Long-term follow-up is needed to recognize problems early and to offer appropriate intervention.


Congenital diaphragmatic hernia; Exercise capacity; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Lung function; Neurodevelopment; Outcome

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