Impact of anesthesia and surgery for congenital heart disease on the vitamin d status of infants and children: a prospective longitudinal study

Anesthesiology. 2013 Jul;119(1):71-80. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e31828ce817.


Background: Vitamin D is recognized as a pleiotropic hormone important for the functioning of organ systems, including those central to critical illness pathophysiology. Recent studies have reported associations between vitamin D status and outcome among critically ill adults and children. Preoperative vitamin D status, impact of operative techniques, and relationship between immediate postoperative vitamin D levels and clinical course have not been described in the pediatric congenital heart disease (CHD) population. The objective of this study was to describe the impact of CHD surgery on vitamin D status and relationship between postoperative levels and clinical course.

Methods: A prospective cohort study was conducted from 2009 to 2011 at a single tertiary care pediatric hospital. A total of 58 children with CHD were enrolled and blood collected preoperatively, intraoperatively, and postoperatively. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) was measured using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

Results: The mean preoperative 25OHD was 58.0 nM (SD, 22.4), with 42% being deficient (<50 nM). Postoperatively, we identified a 40% decline in 25OHD to 34.2 nM (SD, 14.5) with 86% being deficient. Intraoperative measurements determined that initiation of cardiopulmonary bypass coincided with abrupt decline. CHD patients requiring catecholamines had lower postoperative 25OHD (38.2 vs. 26.5 nM, P=0.007), findings confirmed through multivariate logistic regression. Lower postoperative 25OHD was associated with increased fluid requirements and intubation duration.

Conclusions: Most CHD patients are vitamin-D deficient postoperatively due to low preoperative levels and a significant intraoperative decline. Interventional studies will be required to determine whether prevention of postoperative vitamin D deficiency improves outcome.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Catecholamines / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols / blood
  • Infant
  • Linear Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Nutritional Status / physiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / etiology*


  • Catecholamines
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols
  • Vitamin D