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J Pediatr. 2003 Mar;142(3):268-72.

The use of pulse oximetry to detect congenital heart disease.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, Lakeland, FL 33805, USA. jdreich@hotmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate whether pulse oximetry can be used as a screening test to detect congenital heart disease (CHD) in otherwise well newborns before nursery discharge.

METHODS:

Births at Lakeland Regional Medical Center (LRMC) who met inclusion criteria, had a single pulse oximeter reading before discharge. A normal reading was considered to be >94%. Abnormal readings were repeated on a different extremity and if still abnormal, an echocardiography was performed. The number of children with CHD and the number of echocardiograms were compared with the previous year at LRMC.

RESULTS:

There were 2114 infants enrolled, 88 echocardiograms (3.8%) were performed, and 43 were abnormal (yield = 48.9%), of which 12 required management (13.6%). The control group consisted of 2851 births, producing 108 echocardiograms (3.8%), 42 of which were abnormal (38.9%), and 13 required management (12.0%). No comparisons were significant. During both years, 3 children with cyanotic CHD were born. Routine pulse oximetry failed to detect a child with total anomalous pulmonary venous return. Not a single normal echocardiogram was generated by the study.

CONCLUSION:

Routine pulse oximetry was nearly 100% specific for detecting cyanotic CHD; as a result there was no increase in the number of echocardiograms. Routine pulse oximetry did detect a child who might not have been detected otherwise but failed to detect one that should have been detected.

Comment in

PMID:
12640374
DOI:
10.1067/mpd.2003.87
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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