Short-Term Outcomes in Premature Neonates Adhering to the Philosophy of Supportive Care Allowing for Weight Gain and Organ Maturation Prior to Cardiac Surgery

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Background:Prematurity is a recognized risk factor for morbidity and mortality following cardiac surgery. The purpose of this study was to examine short-term outcomes following cardiac surgery in premature neonates adhering to our institutional philosophy of supportive care allowing for weight gain and organ maturation.Methods:Retrospective review of all neonates undergoing cardiac surgery from January 2002 to May 2008. A total of 810 neonates (<30 days of age) were identified. Prematurity defined as less than 36 weeks of gestation. Neonates undergoing ductus arteriosus ligation alone were excluded. In all, 63 neonates comprised the premature group. Term group comprised 244 randomly selected term neonates in a 1:4 ratio. Outcome variables were compared between the 2 groups.Results:Median gestation 34 weeks, range 24 to 35 weeks. Defects: 2 ventricle, normal arch (41% premature vs 44% term; P = .7), 2 ventricle, abnormal arch (24% vs 22%; P = .8), single ventricle, normal arch (21% vs 15%; P = .2), single ventricle, abnormal arch (14% vs 19%; P = .4). Premature neonates were older and smaller at surgery. Cardiopulmonary bypass procedures were performed less frequently in premature neonates (49% vs 69%; P = .004). Length of mechanical ventilation at our institution (6 days [0.5-54) vs 4 days [0.5-49); P = .06); postoperative hospital stay at our institution (17 days [1-161) vs 15 days [0-153); P = .06); and mortality (16% vs 11%; P = .2) was not different between the 2 groups.Conclusion:Early outcome seems independent of weight, prematurity, cardiopulmonary bypass, and type of first intervention. Importantly, there was no statistical difference in mortality between the 2 groups, regardless of how they were treated. Further long-term follow-up is needed in this patient population.

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