Lower weight-for-age z score adversely affects hospital length of stay after the bidirectional Glenn procedure in 100 infants with a single ventricle

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2009 Aug;138(2):397-404.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2009.02.033. Epub 2009 May 23.


Objective: Poor growth has been described in infants with a single ventricle; however, little is known regarding its effect on surgical outcomes. We sought to assess the effect of nutritional status at the time of the bidirectional Glenn procedure on short-term outcomes.

Methods: We performed a retrospective case series of children who underwent the bidirectional Glenn procedure at our institution between January 2001 and December 2007. Anthropometric measurements were recorded at the time of neonatal admission and the bidirectional Glenn procedure. Data from preoperative echocardiograms and cardiac catheterization were recorded. The primary outcome variable was length of hospital stay.

Results: Data on 100 infants were included for analysis. Age at the time of the bidirectional Glenn procedure was 5.1 months (range, 2.4-10 months). The median weight-for-age z score at birth was -0.4 (range, -2.6 to 3.2), and by the time of the bidirectional Glenn procedure, it had decreased to -1.3 (range, -3.9 to 0.6). In multivariable modeling longer postoperative hospital stays were predicted by lower weight-for-age z score (P = .02), younger age (P < .001), being fed through a gastrostomy tube (P = .01), and undergoing concomitant aortic arch reconstruction (P < .001) at the time of the bidirectional Glenn procedure.

Conclusions: There is suboptimal weight gain between neonatal discharge and the bidirectional Glenn procedure. A lower weight-for-age z score and younger age at the time of the bidirectional Glenn procedure affects length of hospital stay independent of hemodynamic or echocardiographic variables.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Aorta / surgery
  • Birth Weight
  • Body Weight*
  • Cardiovascular Surgical Procedures*
  • Chest Tubes
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Length of Stay*
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status
  • Nutritional Support
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Respiration, Artificial