Underweight Status Is an Independent Predictor of In-Hospital Mortality in Pediatric Patients on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

Pilar Anton-Martin, Michael Papacostas, Elisabeth Lee, Paul A. Nakonezny, Michael L. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Malnutrition is associated with an increased risk of mortality in patients admitted to the intensive care unit. Children requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support represent an extremely ill subset of this population. There is a lack of data on the impact of nutrition state on survival in this cohort. We examined the association between being underweight and in-hospital mortality among children supported with ECMO. Materials and Methods: This article reports on an observational retrospective cohort study performed among neonatal and pediatric patients supported with ECMO in a tertiary children’s hospital from May 1996 through June 2013. Nutrition status on intensive care unit admission was defined with z scores on weight for length and body mass index. Results: Patients (N = 491) had a median age of 31 days (interquartile range, 2–771): 24.4% were underweight, and 8.9% were obese. During ECMO support, 88.3% received total parenteral nutrition, and 30.3% received enteral nutrition. Median maximum energy intake while receiving ECMO was 82 kcal/kg/d (interquartile range, 54.7–105). Multiple logistic regression showed that underweight status was associated with increased predicted odds of in-hospital mortality when compared with normal weight (odds ratio: 1.99, 95% confidence interval: 1.21–3.25, P =.006). Other factors associated with increased odds of mortality included extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the need for continuous renal replacement therapy. Conclusion: Underweight status was an independent predictor for in-hospital mortality in our cohort of pediatric ECMO patients. Prospective studies evaluating the impact of metabolic state of children on ECMO should further define this relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • body mass index
  • enteral nutrition
  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • mortality
  • obesity
  • total parenteral nutrition
  • underweight
  • weight for length

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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