Nutritional recovery after cardiac surgery in children with congenital heart disease

Rev Chil Pediatr. 2018 Feb;89(1):24-31. doi: 10.4067/S0370-41062018000100024.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Introduction: Malnutrition is common in children with congenital heart disease (CHD). Medical treatment and surgical interventions contribute improving the nutritional status of these children.

Objective: To describe nutritional recovery in children with CHD and associated factors after surgery.

Patients and method: Longitudinal study. 46 Children under 18 years old admitted for CHD surgery between April 2015 and April 2016 were recruited. The following CHD were included: Ventricular septal defect (VSD), Atrial septal defect (ASD), Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF), and Transposition of great arteries (dTGA). Children with genetic syndromes and other diseases that could compromise nutritional status were excluded. We obtained demographic, CHD, nasogastric tube use (NGT), nutritional evaluation, and weight and height data at the time of admission and one, three and six months after surgery and. Z-score to assess anthropometric measu res were calculated according to WHO standards.

Results: Median age was 8 months (IQR: 3,26), 24 (52%) male, 6 (13%) preterm and 12 (26,1%) small for gestational age (SGA). CHD diagnosis were: 9 (19,6%) VSD, 8 (17,4%) ASD, 12 (26,1%) HLHS, 9 (19,6%) TOF and 8 (17,4%) dTGA. The mean weight-for-heigth-BMI-for-age-z-score (W/H-BMI/AZ) was 0,6 ± 1,5 SD, (28.3% of undernutri tion). The mean heigth-for-age-z-score (H/AZ) was -0,86 ± 1.3sd (21.7% of short stature). We found differences between each CHD and age, use of NGT and been under nutritional follow-up. There was an improvement between H/AZ at admission and 3rd month (p = 0,02), and W/H-BMI/AZ at 3th (p = 0,046) and 6th month (p = 0,001). Use of NGT decreased from admission to 6th month (19 vs 3) (p = 0,0016). We found correlation between admission W/H-BMI/AZ and nutritional recovery (r = -0,7; p < 0,001).

Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of prematurity, SGA, undernutrition and short stature use of with weight recovery but not in heigth after cardio-surgery.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Malnutrition / diagnosis
  • Malnutrition / epidemiology
  • Malnutrition / etiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome