An Analysis of Hospital Mortality After Cardiac Operations in Children With Down Syndrome

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2020;32(4):947-957. doi: 10.1053/j.semtcvs.2020.06.037. Epub 2020 Jul 2.


Children with Down syndrome (DS) have lower mortality compared to nonsyndromic (NS) children after atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) repair. Limited data exist regarding hospital mortality and utilization after other congenital heart disease (CHD) operations in DS. We compared hospital mortality and utilization after CHD operations in both populations and hypothesized that the survival benefit in children with DS is not consistent across CHD lesions. The Texas Inpatient Public Use Datafile was queried for all patients <18 years old undergoing operations for CHD between 1999 and 2016. Hospital mortality, length-of-stay and charges were compared between DS and NS groups, stratified by CHD operation using mixed-effects multivariable analyses and propensity score matching analyses adjusting for prematurity, low birth weight, age, and sex. Over the 18-year period, 2841 cases with DS underwent CHD operations compared to 25,063 NS cases. The most common types of interventions performed in DS were AVSD repair, isolated ventricular septal defect (VSD) repair and tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) repair. By multivariable analyses, DS was associated with lower mortality after isolated AVSD repair (RR 0.40 [IQR 0.20-0.79]), and higher hospital mortality after bidirectional Glenn anastomosis (BDG) (RR 5.17 [IQR 2.10-12.77]) and TOF/pulmonary atresia repair (RR 9.71 [IQR 2.16-43.68]) compared to NS children. Similar results were noted using propensity score matching. Children with DS had lower mortality after AVSD repair than NS children, but higher mortality after operations for BDG and TOF/pulmonary atresia. Further study is needed to determine if the presence of pulmonary hypertension in DS modifies the association between DS and mortality depending on cardiac lesion.

Keywords: Atrioventricular canal defect; Atrioventricular septal defect; Cardiac operations; Cardiac surgery; Congenital heart disease; Down syndrome; Mortality; Trisomy 21.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Down Syndrome* / complications
  • Down Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / diagnosis
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / surgery
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Texas