Pediatric Warm Open Heart Surgery and Prolonged Cross-Clamp Time

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The safety of normothermic pediatric cardiac surgery remains controversial. This study evaluated the performance of normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) associated with intermittent warm blood cardioplegia during prolonged aortic cross-clamp time (CCT).


This retrospective study included 234 consecutive patients weighing less than 10 kg operated under CPB from August 2006 to November 2007. Patients were divided into two groups: group 1 contained 38 patients with CCT exceeding 90 minutes, and group 2 had 196 patients with shorter CCT. Classic factors were used to analyze outcomes, and outcomes were compared with those from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons–European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery database.


Results, expressed as values for group 1 vs those for group 2, were mortality rate, 5.3% vs 2%; length of hospital stay exceeding 21 days, 5% vs 0.5%; delayed chest closure, 21% vs 2.6%; epinephrine infusion, 45% vs 11%; organ failure, 13% vs 2%; reoperation due to bleeding, 3% vs 0.5%; heart block, 3% vs 1%; time to extubation, in hours, 64 ± 94 vs 19 ± 48; plasma lactate concentrations after bypass, 2.6 vs 1.9 mmol/L; length of stay in intensive care, in hours, 100 ± 105 vs 52 ± 48.


Despite expected differences between the two groups, our results were within the range of values described in the literature. This led us to conclude that warm pediatric cardiac surgery with a long CCT is safe. A large, multicenter, randomized prospective study comparing normothermic and hypothermic pediatric cardiac surgery is underway.

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