Cerebral Oximetry Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Aids in the Diagnosis of Interrupted Aortic Arch

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A 3.4-kg, 6-day-old infant presented to the pediatric intensive care unit with a 2-day history of poor feeding and tachypnea. Care at an outside hospital included endotracheal intubation, the administration of isotonic fluid (20 mL/kg), and antibiotics (ampicillin and gentamicin) for presumed sepsis. After arrival at our institution, physical examination revealed absent femoral pulses and hepatomegaly. Cerebral oximetry revealed a right-sided reading of 51% and a left-sided reading of 15%. Given the diminished femoral pulses and the disparity in the cerebral oximetry values, a tentative diagnosis of congenital heart disease with an obstructive left-sided lesion was entertained, and a prostanglandin E1 infusion was started at 0.05 μg/kg/min. The diagnosis of a type C interrupted aortic arch and a ventricular septal defect was confirmed by echocardiography. After stabilization and correction of metabolic abnormalities, the infant was taken to the operating room for repair of the interrupted aortic arch and placement of a pulmonary artery band.

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