Objectives: Acute coronary artery obstruction is a rare complication of congenital heart disease surgery but imposes a high burden of morbidity and mortality. Previous case series have described episodes in specific congenital heart lesions or surgical repairs but have not examined the complication in all-comers to congenital heart surgery. We hypothesize that shorter time from a clinically recognized postoperative sentinel event suggestive of coronary ischemia to diagnosis of coronary obstruction is associated with improved clinical outcomes.
Methods: This was a single-center, retrospective review of patients diagnosed with acute coronary artery obstruction by angiography following surgical repair of congenital heart disease between January 2000 and June 2016.
Results: In total, 34 patients were identified. The most common procedures associated with coronary artery obstruction were the Norwood procedure, arterial switch operation, and aortic valve repair/replacement. In total, 79% required mechanical circulatory support, 41% died, and 27% were listed for heart transplant. Patients who died or were listed for heart transplant had longer median sentinel-event-to-cardiac-catheterization time (28 [6-168] hours vs 10 [3-56] hours, P = .001), and longer median sentinel-event-to-intervention time (32 [11-350] hours vs 13 [5-59] hours, P = .003). Patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome were at greater risk of death or transplant listing (odds ratio, 9.23, P = .03).
Conclusions: Time from clinically relevant postoperative sentinel event to diagnosis of coronary artery obstruction by angiography was associated with transplant-listing-free survival. Clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for coronary obstruction and consider early catheterization and coronary angiography for patients in whom post-operative coronary compromise is suspected.
Keywords: congenital heart disease surgery; coronary interventions; coronary obstruction; coronary thrombosis; post-operative complications.
Copyright © 2019 The American Association for Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.