J Chest Surg.  2021 Oct;54(5):348-355. 10.5090/jcs.21.040.

Outcomes after Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation in Neonates with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia: A SingleCenter Experience

  • 1Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Gangneung Asan Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Gangneung, Korea


Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a rare disease often requiring mechanical ventilation after birth. In severe cases, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) may be needed. This study analyzed the outcomes of patients with CDH treated with ECMO and investigated factors related to in-hospital mortality.
Among 254 newborns diagnosed with CDH between 2008 and 2020, 51 patients needed ECMO support. At Asan Medical Center, a multidisciplinary team approach has been applied for managing newborns with CDH since 2018. Outcomes were compared between hospital survivors and nonsurvivors.
ECMO was established at a median of 17 hours after birth. The mean birth weight was 3.1±0.5 kg. Twenty-three patients (23/51, 45.1%) were weaned from ECMO, and 16 patients (16/51, 31.4%) survived to discharge. The ECMO mode was veno-venous in 24 patients (47.1%) and veno-arterial in 27 patients (52.9%). Most cannulations (50/51, 98%) were accomplished through a transverse cervical incision. No significant between-group differences in baseline characteristics and prenatal indices were observed. The oxygenation index (1 hour before: 90.0 vs. 51.0, p=0.005) and blood lactate level (peak: 7.9 vs. 5.2 mmol/L, p=0.023) before ECMO were higher in nonsurvivors. Major bleeding during ECMO more frequently occurred in nonsurvivors (57.1% vs. 12.5%, p=0.007). In the multivariate analysis, the oxygenation index measured at 1 hour before ECMO initiation was identified as a significant risk factor for in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.01–1.04; p=0.05).
The survival of neonates after ECMO for CDH is suboptimal. Timely application of ECMO is crucial for better survival outcomes.


Congenital diaphragmatic hernias; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; Oxygenation index; Pediatric; Extracorporeal circulation
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