Use of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation and Mortality in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Patients With Genetic Conditions: A Multicenter Analysis*

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Congenital heart disease is commonly a manifestation of genetic conditions. Surgery and/or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were withheld in the past from some patients with genetic conditions. We hypothesized that surgical care of children with genetic conditions has increased over the last decade, but their cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use remains lower and mortality greater.


Retrospective cohort study.


Patients admitted to the Pediatric Health Information System database 18 years old or younger with cardiac surgery during 2003–2014. Genetic conditions identified by International Classification of Diseases, 9th Edition codes were grouped as follows: trisomy 21, trisomy 13 or 18, 22q11 deletion, and all “other” genetic conditions and compared with patients without genetic condition.


A total of 95,253 patients met study criteria, no genetic conditions (85%), trisomy 21 (10%), trisomy 13 or 18 (0.2%), 22q11 deletion (1%), and others (5%).



Measurements and Main Results:

Annual surgical cases did not vary over time. Compared to patients without genetic conditions, trisomy 21 patients, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use was just over half (odds ratio, 0.54), but mortality with and without extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were similar. In trisomy 13 or 18 patients, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use was similar to those without genetic condition, but all five treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation died. 22q11 patients compared with those without genetic condition had similar extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use, but greater odds of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation mortality (odds ratio, 3.44). Other genetic conditions had significantly greater extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use (odds ratio, 1.22), mortality with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (odds ratio, 1.42), and even greater mortality odds without (odds ratio, 2.62).


The proportion of children undergoing cardiac surgery who have genetic conditions did not increase during the study. Excluding trisomy 13 or 18, all groups of genetic conditions received and benefited from extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, although extracorporeal membrane oxygenation mortality was greater for those with 22q11 deletion and other genetic conditions.

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