Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Patterns of Practice and Outcomes in Japan and Europe

World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2021 May;12(3):312-319. doi: 10.1177/2150135120988634.


Objectives: The Japan Cardiovascular Surgery Database-Congenital section (JCVSD-Congenital) and the European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association (ECHSA) Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD) share the same nomenclature. We aimed at comparing congenital cardiac surgical patterns of practice and outcomes in Japan and Europe using the JCVSD-Congenital and ECHSA-CHSD.

Methods and results: We examined Japanese (120 units, 63,365 operations) and European (96 units, 90,098 operations) data in JCVSD-Congenital and ECHSA-CHSD from 2011 to 2017. Patients' age and weight, periprocedural times, mortality at hospital discharge, and postoperative length of stay were calculated for ten benchmark operations. There was a significantly higher proportion of ventricular septal defect closures and Glenn operations and a significantly lower proportion of coarctation repairs, tetralogy of Fallot repairs, atrioventricular septal defect repairs, arterial switch operations, truncus repairs, Norwood operations, and Fontan operations in JCVSD-Congenital compared to ECHSA-CHSD. Postoperative length of stay was significantly longer following all benchmark operations in JCVSD-Congenital compared to ECHSA-CHSD. Mean STAT mortality score (Society of Thoracic Surgeons European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery mortality score) was significantly higher in JCVSD-Congenital (0.78) compared to ECHSA-CHSD (0.71). Mortality at hospital discharge was significantly lower in JCVSD-Congenital (4.2%) compared to ECHSA-CHSD (6.0%, P < .001).

Conclusions: The distribution of the benchmark procedures and age at the time of surgery differ between Japan and Europe. Postoperative length of stay is longer, and the mean complexity is higher in Japan compared to European data. These comparisons of patterns of practice and outcomes demonstrate opportunities for continuing bidirectional transcontinental collaboration and quality improvement.

Keywords: Europe; Japan; cardiac surgery congenital; database; outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures*
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Heart
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Thoracic Surgery*