Respiratory syncytial virus in patients with congenital heart disease: a contemporary look at epidemiology and success of preoperative screening

Pediatr Cardiol. 2000 Sep-Oct;21(5):433-8. doi: 10.1007/s002460010103.


Awareness of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) as a serious pathogen in the child with congenital heart disease is increasing. We studied the impact of RSV lower respiratory tract disease on patients in a large academic pediatric cardiology practice. We found that RSV disease necessitating hospitalization occurs in congenital heart disease patients well into the second year of life. Although pulmonary hypertension remains a significant risk factor for morbidity in these patients, it does not appear to be as much of a factor as in the past. By implementing a nasopharyngeal RSV enzyme-linked immunoassay screening of young patients prior to cardiac surgery we found a reduction in community-acquired postoperative RSV disease. We postulate this will lead to a reduction in nosocomial disease in the postoperative care unit.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child, Preschool
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Hospital Charges
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay
  • Patient Selection*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Postoperative Complications / virology*
  • Preoperative Care*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / economics
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Texas / epidemiology