Introduction: Loop diuretics are the most frequently used diuretics in patients treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). In patients after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) surgery, the use of continuous furosemide infusion is increasingly documented. Because ECMO and CPB are 'comparable' procedures, continuous furosemide infusion is used in newborns on ECMO. We report on the use of continuous intravenous furosemide in neonates treated with ECMO. Methods: This was a retrospective observational study in neonates treated with continuous intravenous furosemide during ECMO. Results: Thirty-one patients were included in the study. A median of 25 (9-149) hours after the start of ECMO, continuous furosemide therapy was started at a median rate of 0.08 (0.02-0.17) mg/kg per hour. The continuous furosemide dose was not changed in the individual patient. Seven patients received a furosemide bolus prior to, and five patients received additional loop diuretics during, the continuous infusion. Urine production before continuous furosemide therapy was not significantly different between patients who received a furosemide bolus prior to the infusion and those who did not receive this bolus (P = 0.2879). Although a positive effect of the 'loading' bolus was observed in urine output in the first 24 hours, there was no statistically significant difference in urine output (P = 0.0961) or in time (P = 0.1976) to reach a urine output of 6 ml/kg per hour between patients. After 24 hours, urine production remained a median of 6.2 ml/kg per hour irrespective of furosemide boluses. The forced diuresis was well tolerated as illustrated by stable haemodynamic parameters and a decrease in ECMO flow and vasopressor score over the observation period. Conclusion: This is the first report on continuous intravenous furosemide therapy in newborns treated with ECMO. The furosemide regimens used in this study varied widely in continuous and intermittent doses. However, all regimens achieved adequate urine output. An advantage of continuous, over intermittent, intravenous furosemide could not be documented. Furosemide dosing regimens should be developed for neonates treated with ECMO. In addition, therapeutic drug-monitoring studies are required to prevent furosemide toxicity because so far no data are available on serum furosemide levels in neonates treated with ECMO.,
Critical Care
Department of Pediatric Surgery

van der Vorst, M., Wildschut, E., Houmes, R. J., Gischler, S., Kist-Van Holthe, J., Burggraaf, J., … Tibboel, D. (2006). Evaluation of furosemide regimens in neonates treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Critical Care, 10. doi:10.1186/cc5115