Practice variation is a potentially important measure of healthcare quality. The IMPACT registry provides a representative national sample with which to study practice variation in trans-catheter interventions for congenital heart disease.Methods
We studied cases for closure of atrial septal defect (ASD) and patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in IMPACT between January 1, 2011, and September 30, 2015, using hierarchical multivariate models studying (1) the distribution of indications for closure and (2) in patients whose indication for closure was left (LVVO) or right ventricular volume overload (RVVO), the factors influencing probability of closure of a small defect (either in size or in terms of the magnitude of shunt).Results
Over the study period, 5233 PDA and 4459 ASD cases were performed at 77 hospitals. The indications for ASD closure were RVVO in 84% and stroke prevention in 13%. Indications for PDA closure were LVVO in 57%, endocarditis prevention in 36%, and pulmonary hypertension in 7%. There was statistically significant variability in indications between hospitals for PDA and ASD procedures (median rate ratio (MRR): 1.3 and 1.1; both P < .001). The proportion of cases for volume overload with a Qp:Qs <1.5:1 decreased with increasing PDA and ASD procedural volume (P = .04 and 0.05). For ASD, the proportion was higher at hospitals with a larger proportion of adult cases (P = .0007). There was significant variation in practice in the risk of closing PDA <2 mm for LVVO (MRR: 1.4, P < .001).Conclusion
There is measurable variation in transcatheter closure of PDA and ASD. Further research is necessary to study whether this affects outcomes or resource utilization.