In retrospective review of survivors of neonatal extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, eight patients with varying degrees of right hemispheric brain injury were identified. The extent of preextracorporeal membrane oxygenation hypoxia and ischemia was documented: five of eight patients had arterial Po2 values of <40 mm Hg, seven of eight required dopamine for blood pressure support, and five of eight required cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Two patients had proven neurologic abnormalities before extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Postextracorporeal membrane oxygenation CT brain scans showed right hemispheric focal abnormalities in three patients. Seven infants had neuromotor abnormalities which were laterlizing in nature; all were left sided, suggesting right-sided brain injury. EEGs showed an increased incidence of slowing and attenuation over the right hemisphere. These findings indicate that right-sided brain abnormalities exist after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and that carotid artery ligation for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is not without risk.

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