Perioperative Outcomes of Major Noncardiac Surgery in Adults with Congenital Heart Disease

* Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. † Instructor, Department of Anesthesia, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California. ‡ Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine. § Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesia, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.
Anesthesiology (Impact Factor: 5.88). 07/2013; 119(4). DOI: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e3182a56de3
Source: PubMed


An increasing number of patients with congenital heart disease are surviving to adulthood. Consensus guidelines and expert opinion suggest that noncardiac surgery is a high-risk event, but few data describe perioperative outcomes in this population.
By using the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database (years 2002 through 2009), the authors compared patients with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) who underwent noncardiac surgery with a non-ACHD comparison cohort matched on age, sex, race, year, elective or urgent or emergency procedure, van Walraven comborbidity score, and primary procedure code. Mortality and morbidity were compared between the two cohorts.
A study cohort consisting of 10,004 ACHD patients was compared with a matched comparison cohort of 37,581 patients. Inpatient mortality was greater in the ACHD cohort (407 of 10,004 [4.1%] vs. 1,355 of 37,581 [3.6%]; unadjusted odds ratio, 1.13; P = 0.031; adjusted odds ratio, 1.29; P < 0.001). The composite endpoint of perioperative morbidity was also more commonly observed in the ACHD cohort (2,145 of 10.004 [21.4%] vs. 6,003 of 37,581 [16.0%]; odds ratio, 1.44; P < 0.001). ACHD patients comprised an increasing proportion of all noncardiac surgical admissions over the study period (P value for trend is <0.001), and noncardiac surgery represented an increasing proportion of all ACHD admissions (P value for trend is <0.001).
Compared with a matched control cohort, ACHD patients undergoing noncardiac surgery experienced increased perioperative morbidity and mortality. Within the limitations of a retrospective analysis of a large administrative dataset, this finding demonstrates that this is a vulnerable population and suggests that better efforts are needed to understand and improve the perioperative care they receive.

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