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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006 Feb;131(2):412-7. Epub 2006 Jan 18.

Current outcomes and risk factors for the Norwood procedure.

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Division of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Mich, USA.

Erratum in

  • J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2007 Mar;133(3):602. Gelehrter, S [added].



Tremendous strides have been made in the outcomes for hypoplastic left heart syndrome and other functional single-ventricle malformations over the past 25 years. This progress relates primarily to improvements in survival for patients undergoing the Norwood procedure. Previous reports on risk factors have been on smaller groups of patients or collected over relatively long periods of time, during which management has evolved. We analyzed our current results for the Norwood procedure with attention to risk factors for poor outcome.


A single-institution review of all patients undergoing a Norwood procedure for a single-ventricle malformation from May 1, 2001, through April 30, 2003, was performed. Patient demographics, anatomy, clinical condition, associated anomalies, operative details, and outcomes were recorded.


Of the 111 patients, there were 23 (21%) hospital deaths. Univariate analysis revealed noncardiac abnormalities (genetic or significant extracardiac diagnosis, P = .0018), gestational age (P = .03), diagnosis of unbalanced atrioventricular septal defect (P = .017), and weight of less than 2.5 kg (P = .0072) to be related to hospital death. On multivariate analysis, only weight of less than 2.5 kg and noncardiac abnormalities were found to be independent risk factors. Patients with either of these characteristics had a hospital survival of 52% (12/23), whereas those at standard risk had a survival of 86% (76/88).


Although improvements in management might have lessened the effect of some of the traditionally reported risk factors related to variations in the cardiovascular anatomy, noncardiac abnormalities and low birth weight remain as a future challenge for the physician caring for the patient with single-ventricle physiology.

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