A longitudinal, prospective study was conducted to determine the long-term neurodevelopmental outcome in neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) survivors with and without seizures. One hundred sixty-two ECMO survivors from March 1985 until November 1995 were eligible for follow-up. Sixty-four returned at preschool age (4-6 years). Thirty-nine infants did not experience neonatal seizures (group 1); however, 25 exhibited seizures before or during ECMO (group 2). Twelve infants referred for ECMO, but managed medically, served as a clinical comparison group (group 3). At school age (7-9 years), 32 ECMO children (16 with seizures) returned for neuropsychologic evaluation. The results indicated that the preschool seizure group (group 2) demonstrated a significantly lower mean IQ than group 1 or 3 (P = .002). Furthermore, 56% of group 2 had IQ scores ≤ 84 (≥ 1 SD below the mean). Group 2 also exhibited significantly higher rates of cerebral palsy (P ≤ .001 and speech-language disorder than group 1 or 3 (P < .001). At school age, the seizure group continued to perform below average on intelligence testing, with 50% scoring ≤ 84 and 38% receiving special education. This study extends the previous findings that seizures associated with neonatal ECMO are a primary risk factor for neurodevelopmental sequelae and confirms the need for long-term follow-up to assist with academic programming.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology