Non-invasive Neurocritical Care Monitoring for Neonates on ECMO: Where do we stand?
Objective: To determine practice variation in the utilization of neuromonitoring modalities in neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) patients across Level IV neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Study design: Cross-sectional survey design using electronic surveys sent to site sponsors of a multicenter collaborative of 34 Level IV NICUs of the Children's Hospitals Neonatal Consortium (CHNC) from June to August 2018. Results: We had 22 survey respondents from CHNC ECMO centers. Twenty-seven percent of respondents routinely monitored for seizures using electroencephalogram. Cerebral near infrared spectroscopy was used by 50%. Head ultrasound was performed by 95% but the frequency, duration, and type of views varied. Post ECMO screening brain MRI prior to hospital discharge was routinely performed by 77% of respondents. A majority of centers (95%) performed neurodevelopmental follow-up after hospital discharge. Conclusions: There is variation in neuromonitoring practices in Level IV NICUs performing ECMO. Lack of evidence and clear outcome benefits has contributed to practice variation across institutions.