We developed a technique for the Norwood operation utilizing continuous perfusion of the head, heart, and lower body at mild hypothermia named Sustained Total All-Region (STAR) perfusion. We hypothesized that STAR perfusion would be associated with shorter operative times, decreased coagulopathy, and expedited post-operative recovery compared to standard perfusion techniques. Between 2012 and 2020, 80 infants underwent primary Norwood reconstruction at our institution. Outcomes for patients who received successful STAR perfusion (STAR, n = 37) were compared to those who received standard Norwood reconstruction utilizing regional cerebral perfusion only (SNR, n = 33), as well as to Norwood patients reported in the PC4 national database during the same timeframe (n = 1238). STAR perfusion was performed with cannulation of the innominate artery, descending aorta, and aortic root at 32-34°C. STAR patients had shorter median CPB time compared to SNR (171 vs 245 minutes, P < 0.0001), shorter operative time (331 vs 502 minutes, P < 0.0001), and decreased intraoperative pRBC transfusion (100 vs 270 mL, P < 0.0001). STAR patients had decreased vasoactive-inotropic score on ICU admission (6 vs 10.8, P = 0.0007) and decreased time to chest closure (2 vs 4.5 days, P = 0.0004). STAR patients had lower peak lactate (8.1 vs 9.9 mmol/L, P = 0.03) and more rapid lactate normalization (18.3 vs 27.0 hours, P = 0.003). In-hospital mortality in STAR patients was 2.7% vs 15.1% with SNR (P = 0.06) and 10.3% in the PC4 aggregate (P = 0.14). STAR perfusion is a novel approach to Norwood reconstruction associated with excellent survival, decreased transfusions, shorter operative time, and improved convalescence in the early post-operative period.
Keywords: All-region perfusion; Congenital heart; Ischemia; Neonate; Norwood; Norwood operation; STAR perfusion.
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