Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether ex utero intrapartum treatment with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (EXIT to ECMO) is a reasonable approach for managing patients antenatally diagnosed with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). Methods: A 6-year retrospective review was performed on fetuses with severe CDH (liver herniation and a lung/head ratio <1.4, percentage of predicted lung volume <15, and/or congenital heart disease). Fourteen of the patients underwent EXIT with a trial of ventilation. Fetuses with poor preductal oxygen saturations despite mechanical ventilation received ECMO before their delivery. Maternal-fetal outcomes were analyzed. Results: There were no maternal-reported complications. Three babies passed the ventilation trial and survived, but 2 of them required ECMO within 48 hours. The remaining 11 fetuses received ECMO before their delivery. Overall survival after EXIT-to-ECMO was 64%. At 1-year follow-up, all survivors had weaned off supplemental oxygen, but 57% required diuretics and/or bronchodilators. Conclusion: This is the largest reported experience using EXIT to ECMO in the management of severe CDH. The EXIT-to-ECMO procedure is associated with favorable survival rates and acceptable pulmonary morbidity in fetuses expected to have a poor prognosis under conventional management.
- Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
- Ex utero intrapartum treatment
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health