To evaluate short-term outcomes in infants born preterm with congenital heart defects (CHDs) and the factors associated with surgery, survival, and length of hospitalization in this population.Study design
We analyzed data from infants born preterm (gestational age <37 weeks) enrolled in the multicenter Kids' Inpatient Database of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project who were admitted to the hospital within 30 days after birth. Infants with atrial septal defects were excluded.Results
Of 1 429 762 enrolled infants born preterm, 27 434 (2.0%) with CHDs were included. Overall survival to discharge was 90.5%; 74.0% among infants with critical CHDs and 45.7% among infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Cardiac surgeries were performed in 12.2% of all infants born preterm. Rates of surgical intervention for infants with critical CHDs were lower for very low birth weight (≤1.5 kg) vs larger infants >1.5 kg (27% vs 44%), and only 6.3% of infants born with very low birth weight underwent surgeries in Risk-adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery categories 4 or greater. Greater birth weight, left-sided lesions, care at children's hospitals, and absence of trisomies were associated with a greater likelihood of surgery. Birth weight <2 kg, nonwhite race, trisomy syndromes, prematurity-related morbidities, and Risk-adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery category 4 or greater were independent predictors of mortality. Birth weight <2 kg, Risk-adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery category, morbidities, and sidedness of lesion predicted length of stay.Conclusions
The high survival rates of infants born preterm with CHDs suggests that a cautiously optimistic approach to surgery may be warranted in all but the most immature infants with the greatest-risk conditions.