Long-Term Outcomes of Patients Requiring Unplanned Repeated Interventions After Surgery for Congenital Heart Disease

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Jun 28;79(25):2489-2499. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2022.04.027.


Background: Unplanned catheter-based or surgical reinterventions after congenital heart operations are independently associated with operative mortality and increased postoperative length of stay.

Objectives: This study assessed the long-term outcomes of transplant-free survivors of hospital discharge requiring predischarge reinterventions after congenital cardiac surgery.

Methods: Data from patients who required predischarge reinterventions in the anatomic area of repair after congenital cardiac surgery and survived to hospital discharge at a quaternary referral center from January 2011 to December 2019 were retrospectively reviewed. Previously published echocardiographic criteria were used to assess the severity of persistent residual lesions at discharge (Grade 1, no residua; Grade 2, minor residua; and Grade 3, major residua). Outcomes included postdischarge (late) mortality or transplant and unplanned reintervention. Associations between predischarge residual lesion severity and outcomes were assessed by using Cox or competing risk models, adjusting for baseline patient characteristics, case complexity, and preoperative risk factors.

Results: Among the 408 patients who met entry criteria, there were 58 (14.2%) postdischarge deaths or transplants and 208 (51.0%) late reinterventions at a median follow-up of 3.0 years (IQR: 1.1-6.8 years). Greater predischarge residual lesion severity was associated with worse transplant-free survival and freedom from reintervention (both, P < 0.05). On multivariable analyses, Grade 3 patients had an increased risk of postdischarge mortality or transplant (HR: 4.8; 95% CI: 2.0-11; P < 0.001) and late reintervention (subdistribution HR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.4-3.1; P < 0.001) vs Grade 1 patients.

Conclusions: Among transplant-free survivors requiring predischarge reinterventions after congenital cardiac surgery, those with persistent major residua have significantly worse long-term outcomes. These high-risk patients warrant closer surveillance.

Keywords: cardiac; outcomes; pediatric; survival; transcatheter.

MeSH terms

  • Aftercare
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Patient Discharge
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome