Potential survival benefit with repair of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in select patients: Study by ELSO CDH Interest Group

Patrick T. Delaplain, Matthew T. Harting, Tim Jancelewicz, Lishi Zhang, Peter T. Yu, Matteo Di Nardo, Yanjun Chen, James E. Stein, Henri Ford, Danh V. Nguyen, Yigit Guner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Studying the timing of repair in CDH is prone to confounding factors, including variability in disease severity and management. We hypothesized that delaying repair until post-ECMO would confer a survival benefit. Methods: Neonates who underwent CDH repair were identified within the ELSO Registry. Patients were then divided into on-ECMO versus post-ECMO repair. Patients were 1:1 matched for severity based on pre-ECMO covariates using the propensity score (PS) for the timing of repair. Outcomes examined included mortality and severe neurologic injury (SNI). Results: After matching, 2,224 infants were included. On-ECMO repair was associated with greater than 3-fold higher odds of mortality (OR 3.41, 95% CI: 2.84–4.09, p < 0.01). The odds of SNI was also higher for on-ECMO repair (OR 1.49, 95% CI: 1.13–1.96, p < 0.01). A sensitivity analysis was performed by including the length of ECMO as an additional matching variable. On-ECMO repair was still associated with higher odds of mortality (OR 2.38, 95% CI: 1.96–2.89, p < 0.01). Results for SNI were similar but were no longer statistically significant (OR 1.33, 95% CI: 0.99–1.79, p = 0.06). Conclusions: Of the infants who can be liberated from ECMO and undergo CDH repair, there is a potential survival benefit for delaying CDH repair until after decannulation. Type of Study: Treatment Study Level of Evidence: III

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this