To assess somatic growth after ventricular septal defect (VSD) repair in severely malnourished infants.Study design
Ninety consecutive infants (age at surgery: 7.2 ± 3.2 months) were followed after VSD closure at a referral center in southern India to evaluate somatic growth.Results
At surgery, 44% and 30% of patients had weight and height Z score <−3, respectively. On follow-up (age 5.4 ± 0.8 years), despite a significant improvement from baseline (Z score −1.8 ± 1.2 vs −2.8 ± 1.3, P < .001), weight was significantly lower compared with healthy Indian children, particularly for boys. Height Z score improved significantly only in girls (−0.8 ± 1.3 vs −1.8±2.1, P = .01). Weight, height, and combined weight and height Z scores (failure to thrive) of <−2 were observed in 42%, 27%, and 18 % of patients, respectively. On multivariate analysis, weight Z score <−2 on follow-up was predicted by weight Z score at surgery and male sex, height Z score <−2 by maternal height and male sex, and failure to thrive by maternal height and caloric intake.Conclusions
There is suboptimal recovery of somatic growth after repair of VSD in severely malnourished infants. Preoperative malnutrition affected only weight on follow-up, whereas height recovery and failure to thrive were influenced by constitutional factors.