Research: Infection profile in neonatal patients during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Int J Artif Organs. 2020 Mar 20:391398820911379. doi: 10.1177/0391398820911379. [Epub ahead of print]

Infection profile in neonatal patients during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Rodríguez RX1Villarroel LA2Meza RA1Peña JI1Musalem C3Kattan J4Urzúa S4.

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To describe risk factors for acquired infection during neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and to examine the predictive value of inflammatory markers in the diagnosis of infection.


A retrospective study was conducted with data for patients under 30 days supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation from 2003 to April 2016, in a neonatal intensive care unit.


Our study included 160 neonatal patients, the average age of connection was 8.5 days and the duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support was 9.7 days. The incidence of confirmed infection was 23%. Patients with confirmed infection present more frequently: vaginal delivery, lower birth weight, female sex, diagnosis of congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and longer duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. When comparing the group of patients with confirmed infection and suspicion of infection, there were no significant differences in the inflammatory markers. When calculating the slope for each one, the difference in white blood cell count slope 72 h before the infection is significant; in patients with confirmed infection, the count of white blood cell increases (slope: 0.25), versus the group of patients with suspected infection in whom the count decreases (slope: -0.39). No differences were found in other variables.


Our study describes that the factors that increase the risk of infection are lower birth weight, vaginal birth, duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and a positive trend of white blood cell 72 h prior to infection/suspicion. Further studies are necessary to include or definitively rule out the use of these factors and the biomarkers as predictors of infection in neonatal patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.


C-reactive protein; Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; infection; leukocyte countPMID: 32195608 DOI: 10.1177/0391398820911379

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