Gastrostomy Button Placement in Infants With Cyanotic Versus Acyanotic Congenital Heart Disease

J Surg Res. 2021 Mar:259:407-413. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2020.09.014. Epub 2020 Oct 21.


Background: Infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) may exhibit increased metabolic demands, and many will undergo placement of a gastrostomy to achieve adequate nutritional intake. There is a paucity of data, however, comparing the operative risks and overall complications of gastrostomy placement in cyanotic versus acyanotic infants with CHD. We hypothesized that patients with cyanotic CHD would have a higher rate of gastrostomy-associated complications than infants with acyanotic CHD.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent gastrostomy button placement after cardiac surgery for CHD between 2013 and 2018. Patients were stratified into cyanotic CHD and acyanotic CHD cohorts. Patient data were extracted from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons database and merged with clinical data related to gastrostomy placement and complications from chart review. Unadjusted analyses were used to find covariates associated with cyanotic CHD and acyanotic CHD, using a t-test or Wilcoxon rank-sum test for continuous data, depending on normalcy, and χ2 or Fisher's exact tests for categorical data depending on the distribution.

Results: There were 257 infants with CHD who underwent gastrostomy placement during the study period, of which 86 had cyanotic CHD. There were no significant differences in baseline weight or preoperative albumin levels between the two groups. Patients with cyanotic CHD had a lower incidence of comorbid syndromes (P = 0.0001), higher Society of Thoracic Surgeons-European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery scores (P < 0.0001), and higher postoperative mortality rate (P = 0.0189). There was a higher rate of granulation tissue formation in patients with acyanotic CHD (48.5% versus 22.1%, P < 0.0001). There were no differences in other gastrostomy button-related complications, including leakage, wound infection, or dislodgement.

Conclusions: Patients with acyanotic CHD demonstrated a higher incidence of granulation tissue. We found no difference in gastrostomy-specific complication rates between the two groups, with the notable exception of granulation tissue formation. Based on this study, the diagnosis of cyanotic CHD does not increase the risk of gastrostomy-related complications.

Keywords: Cardiac; Feeding; Gastrostomy; Infant; Laparoscopic; Nutrition.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Comorbidity
  • Cyanosis / epidemiology
  • Cyanosis / etiology
  • Cyanosis / therapy*
  • Enteral Nutrition / adverse effects*
  • Enteral Nutrition / methods
  • Female
  • Gastrostomy / adverse effects*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / adverse effects*
  • Intubation, Gastrointestinal / methods
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies