Perioperative Methylprednisolone and Outcome in Neonates Undergoing Heart Surgery

Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, NC, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 02/2012; 129(2):e385-91. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-2034
Source: PubMed


Recent studies have called into question the benefit of perioperative corticosteroids in children undergoing heart surgery, but have been limited by the lack of placebo control, limited power, and grouping of various steroid regimens together in analysis. We evaluated outcomes across methylprednisolone regimens versus no steroids in a large cohort of neonates.
Clinical data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Database were linked to medication data from the Pediatric Health Information Systems Database for neonates (≤30 days) undergoing heart surgery (2004-2008) at 25 participating centers. Multivariable analysis adjusting for patient and center characteristics, surgical risk category, and within-center clustering was used to evaluate the association of methylprednisolone regimen with outcome.
A total of 3180 neonates were included: 22% received methylprednisolone on both the day before and day of surgery, 12% on the day before surgery only, and 28% on the day of surgery only; 38% did not receive any perioperative steroids. In multivariable analysis, there was no significant mortality or length-of-stay benefit associated with any methylprednisolone regimen versus no steroids, and no difference in postoperative infection. In subgroup analysis by surgical-risk group, there was a significant association of methylprednisolone with infection consistent across all regimens (overall odds ratio 2.6, 95% confidence interval 1.3-5.2) in the lower-surgical-risk group.
This multicenter observational analysis did not find any benefit associated with methylprednisolone in neonates undergoing heart surgery and suggested increased infection in certain subgroups. These data reinforce the need for a large randomized trial in this population.

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    • "Importantly, the number of PDA closures (81 in 1243 infants who survived > 72 hrs) is consistent with the report by Evans, who found about 10% of infants born before 27 weeks (and 3% of infants born at 27–29 weeks) required PDA surgical ligation [32]. Small number reports about the state of post-operative infants is insufficient [33,34]. "
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