Factors associated with early extubation after cardiac surgery in young children

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2004 Jan;5(1):63-8. doi: 10.1097/01.PCC.0000102386.96434.46.


Objective: Children undergoing congenital heart surgery require mechanical ventilation. We sought to identify pre- and intraoperative factors (PrO, IO) associated with successful early extubation <24 hrs.

Design and patients: We performed a retrospective chart review of children <36 months old who underwent congenital heart surgery from January 1998 to July 1999.

Setting: Pediatric intensive care unit in a children's hospital.

Measurements: Generalized Estimating Equation models were fit to assess the association between PrO and IO and early extubation while accounting for the correlation between surgeries performed on the same patient. Estimated odds ratios (EOR) and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Multivariable models were constructed using a forward selection process with inclusion criteria of p<.05. Multivariable models, which included PrO and IO variables, were adjusted for procedure group. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was computed for each model.

Results: A total of 203 children underwent 219 surgeries; 103 (47%) children were extubated in <24 hrs, with only one (1%) failed extubation. PrO variables associated with successful early extubation included age >6 months (EOR, 6.1), absence of pulmonary hypertension (EOR, 9.1), gestational age >36 wks (EOR, 4.6), and absence of congestive heart failure (EOR, 2.4). IO variables were less likely to be associated with successful early extubation. Our model of PrO variables with multiple factors showed that presence of two factors was associated with an EOR of 4.2 for successful early extubation compared with children with zero or one factor. Presence of three and four factors was associated with an EOR of 18.0 and 76.5, respectively. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for this model is 0.816. Incision type, complex vs. simple procedure, and palliative vs. complete repair were not associated with success of early extubation.

Conclusions: Early extubation is possible in many very young children undergoing congenital heart surgery, with a low rate of failed extubation. The model would be improved by prospective validation with larger numbers at multiple institutions.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Perioperative Care*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Ventilator Weaning*