Criteria for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in a population of infants with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn
Beck, R.; Anderson, K.D.; Pearson, G.D.; Cronin, J.; Miller, M.K.; Short, B.L.
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 21(4): 297-302
Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been available since 1975 as a therapy of last resort to provide adequate oxygenation for term infants with acute lung disorders that do not respond to maximal medical therapy. Virtually all term infants with serious lung disease have persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) characterized by significant right-to-left shunting of blood and severe diffusion defects manifested as increased alveolar-arterial oxygen gradients (AaDO2). Criteria for initiation of ECMO therapy have been developed in several institutions but at the present time there are no universal criteria applicable to all infants with PPHN. We have attempted to establish entry criteria that may be used for different populations of infants with PPHN. Based on a retrospective review of 30 infants with PPHN in our institution, we have defined standards of maximal medical therapy. An alveolar-arterial oxygen difference (AaDO2) of greater than or equal to 610 for 8 hours has been shown to be associated with 79% mortality in this population. This AaDO2/time interval is established as a major criterion for institution of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.