Purpose In high-risk congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH), significant barotrauma or death can occur before extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) can be initiated. We previously examined ex utero intrapartum treatment (EXIT)-to-ECMO in our most severe CDH patients, but demonstrated no survival advantage. We now report morbidity outcomes in survivors of this high-risk cohort to determine whether EXIT-to-ECMO conferred any benefit. Methods All CDH survivors with < 15% predicted lung volume (PPLV) from September 1999 to December 2010 were included. We recorded prenatal imaging, defect size, and pulmonary, nutritional, cardiac, and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Results Seventeen survivors (8 EXIT-to-ECMO, 9 non-EXIT) had an average PPLV of 11.7%. Eight of 9 non-EXIT received ECMO within 2 days. There were no significant defect size differences between groups, mostly left-sided (13/17) and type D (12/17). Average follow-up was 6.7 years (0–13 years). There were no statistically significant differences in outcomes, including supplemental oxygen, diuretics, gastrostomy, weight-for-age Z scores, fundoplication, pulmonary hypertension, stroke or intracranial hemorrhage rate, CDH recurrence, and reoperation. No survivor in our cohort was neurologically devastated. All had mild motor and/or speech delay, which improved in most. Conclusions In this pilot series of severe CDH survivors, EXIT-to-ECMO confers neither significant survival nor long-term morbidity benefit. Level of evidence Level III treatment study.
- CDH morbidity
- Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
- Ex utero intrapartum treatment
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health