Surgical outcome of congenital heart disease in Down's syndrome

Asian Cardiovasc Thorac Ann. 2013 Apr;21(2):166-9. doi: 10.1177/0218492312450701.


Background and objective: only a few studies have compared surgical outcomes in children with and without Down's syndrome. The purpose of this study was to investigate the surgical outcome in children with Down's syndrome and congenital heart disease and to compare it with that in age- and sex-matched non-Down controls.

Patients and methods: the charts of 32 consecutive Down's syndrome patients who underwent surgery for congenital heart disease in a single center from January 2006 to May 2010, were compared with the data of 32 age- and sex-matched non-Down controls, focusing on comparative echocardiographic details, surgical outcome, and intensive care unit data. The data were compared using the 2-group t test. The children were followed up for a median period of 48 months.

Results: the most common cardiac lesion in the study group was ventricular septal defect (41%) followed by atrioventricular septal defect (28%). Ventilation and intensive care unit stay were significantly longer in Down's syndrome children, with a trend towards more respiratory complications. At a median follow-up of 48 months, there were no cardiac events or mortality in the study group. Simple lesions were more common than atrioventricular septal defect in Down's syndrome.

Conclusion: children with Down's syndrome can be operated on with negligible mortality and good functional outcome, but with a higher surgical morbidity.

Keywords: Complete atrioventricular septal defect; congenital; down syndrome; heart defects; postoperative complications; treatment outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Down Syndrome / complications*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / therapy
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome