The aim of the study was to assess lung function longitudinally after neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and to identify any effects of diagnosis and perinatal characteristics. 121 neonatal ECMO-treated children (70 with meconium aspiration syndrome, 20 congenital diaphragmatic hernia and 31 with other diagnoses) performed a total of 191 lung function measurements at 5, 8 and/or 12 yrs. We assessed dynamic and static lung volumes, reversibility of airway obstruction and diffusion capacity. Mean SDS forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV(1)) at 5 yrs before and after bronchodilation (-0.51 and 0.07) was significantly higher than at 8 (-0.79 and -0.4; p<0.04) and 12 yrs (-1.10 and -0.52; p<0.003). Mean SDS for all spirometric parameters before and after bronchodilation were significantly lower in the congenital diaphragmatic hernia group compared with the other diagnostic groups (all p</=0.025). A significant volume of trapped air was observed in 86% patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, 50% with meconium aspiration syndrome and 58% with other diagnoses. After bronchodilation, mean SDS FEV(1) and forced vital capacity were negatively influenced by duration of ventilation (both p<0.001) and duration of ECMO (p=0.003 and p=0.02, respectively). Long-term pulmonary sequelae after neonatal ECMO-treatment mainly occur in congenital diaphragmatic hernia patients and tend to deteriorate over time.

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Keywords Chronic lung disease, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, follow-up, long-term sequelae of neonatal lung disease, longitudinal changes in lung function, meconium aspiration syndrome
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Journal The European Respiratory Journal
Spoel, M, Laas, R, Gischler, S.J, Hop, W.C.J, Tibboel, D, de Jongste, J.C, & IJsselstijn, H. (2012). Diagnosis-related deterioration of lung function after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The European Respiratory Journal, 40(6), 1531–1537. doi:10.1183/09031936.00189911