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Am Surg. 2014 Apr;80(4):321-6.

Perioperative morbidity and mortality after noncardiac surgery in young adults with congenital or early acquired heart disease: a retrospective cohort analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


An increasing number of patients with congenital heart disease survive to adulthood. Expert opinion suggests that noncardiac surgery is a high-risk event, but few data describe perioperative outcomes in this population. Using the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program database, we identified a cohort of patients aged 18 to 39 years with prior heart surgery who underwent noncardiac surgery between 2005 and 2010. A comparison cohort with no prior cardiovascular surgery was matched on age, sex, race/ethnicity, operation year, American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status, and Current Procedural Terminology code. A study cohort consisting of 1191 patients was compared with a cohort of 5127 patients. Baseline dyspnea, inpatient status at the time of surgery, and a prior operation within 30 days were more common in the study cohort. Postoperative outcomes were less favorable in the study cohort. Observed rates of death, perioperative cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction, stroke, respiratory complications, renal failure, sepsis, venous thromboembolism, perioperative transfusion, and reoperation were significantly higher in the study cohort (P < 0.01 for all). Mean postoperative length of stay was greater in the study cohort (5.8 vs 3.6 days, P < 0.01). Compared with a matched control cohort, young adult patients with a history of prior cardiac surgery experienced significantly greater perioperative morbidity and mortality after noncardiac surgery. A history of prior cardiac surgery represents a marker of substantial perioperative risk in this young population that is not accounted for by the matched variables. These results suggest that adult patients with congenital heart disease are at risk for adverse outcomes and support the need for further registry-based investigations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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