Due to lack of a control population, the pulmonary mechanics data from ECMO survivors were compared with those of 13 preterm BPD infants, survivors of severe RDS, studied at 6 months of corrected age. These data have been reported previously. The mean Cdyn in the BPD group was 0.52 + 0.06 ml/cm HaO which is significantly lower than that of the ECMO survivors (p<0.001 [Fig 2]). The TGV, Raw and P&02 were comparable in the two groups at 6 months corrected age (Fig 2).
Dynamic pulmonary compliance at 6 months of age did not correlate with the duration of ECMO (r = 0.23; NS) or the duration of mechanical assisted ventilation required following ECMO (r = 0.17; NS). There was no significant correlation between the pulmonary function abnormalities at 6 months of age and the severity of respiratory failure pre-EC MO, such as pre ECMO Pa02, OI, MAP and the age at starting ECMO.
This study shows that many infants treated by ECMO during the neonatal period have abnormal pulmonary mechanics at 6 months of age. These abnormalities often are severe enough to require intervention to relieve clinical symptoms as assessed by their primary care pediatrician.
Figure 2. Mean ± SE for Cdyn, Raw, TGV at FRC and PaO* while patients were breathing room air are shown for ECMO survivors and 13 preterm BPD infants; Cdyn in ECMO survivors was significantly better than in preterm BPD infants (p<0.001).