Predictors of postoperative outcome after general surgical procedures in patients with congenital heart disease

J Pediatr Surg. 1994 Jul;29(7):866-70. doi: 10.1016/0022-3468(94)90004-3.


This study was undertaken to evaluate factors predictive of postoperative outcome after general surgical (GS) procedures in patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). All patients with a diagnosis of CHD who underwent a GS procedure under general anesthesia during a consecutive 10-year period were considered eligible for the study The congenital heart defect was classified as either simple (ASD, VSD, PDA) or complex (endocardial cushion defects, transposition of the great vessels, tetralogy of Fallot), and the GS procedure as either major (intraperitoneal, intrathoracic, or vascular reconstructive) or minor (inguinal herniorrhaphy, vascular access). The overall mortality rate for the patient population was 12% (27 deaths among 226 procedures), minor procedures being associated with a 3% mortality rate (2 of 70 procedures), and major procedures with a 16% mortality rate (25 of 156 procedures). Incremental risk factors for mortality included a preoperative American Society of Anesthesiologists' (ASA) physical status class of IV or higher (P = .0003), a preoperative in-hospital stay of 10 or more days (P = .004), birth at a tertiary care center (P = .04), and emergency operations (P = .05). In the subgroup of patients less than 6 months old, weight of less than 2.4 kg at the time of surgery and a 1-minute Apgar score of less than 4 were additional independent risk factors (P = .04 and .01, respectively). By logistic analysis, previous corrective cardiac procedures, whether complete or palliative, did not significantly alter the postoperative outcome. The authors conclude that physiologically well-compensated patients with CHD can undergo elective operations at a low operative risk; however, poorly compensated patients undergoing urgent or emergent operations are at high risk.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, General
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / mortality*
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome