• Right hemispheric brain injury has been noted in surviving infants treated with venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). This phenomenon may be secondary to permanent ligation of the right carotid artery. At our institution, conventional ventilatory therapy failed in five neonates with respiratory insufficiency, and they were treated successfully with ECMO. In four of the five neonates, the right carotid artery was reconstructed at the time of decannulation. At discharge, all newborns with carotid artery repair showed no signs of unilateral brain injury and had excellent antegrade flow in the right carotid artery as assessed by both duplex and transcranial Doppler ultrasound scanning. Carotid artery reconstruction after ECMO is a technically simple procedure that may reduce the incidence of right hemispheric brain injury and long-term consequences of marginal cerebral perfusion.
Crombleholme TM, Adzick NS, deLorimier AA, Longaker MT, Harrison MR, Charlton VE. Carotid Artery Reconstruction Following Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(8):872-874. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150320036021