Incidence and characteristics of heart block after heart surgery in pediatric patients: A multicenter study

Leonardo Liberman, Eric S. Silver, Paul J. Chai, Brett R. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background Advanced second- or third-degree heart block has been reported with variable incidence after surgery for congenital heart disease in children. We report the incidence of heart block requiring a pacemaker and describe the risk factors for this complication in a large multicenter study. Methods We performed a retrospective cohort study, using the Pediatric Health Information System database from 45 hospitals in the United States, for all children aged 18 years, discharged between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2013, who underwent open surgery for congenital heart disease. Patients who had heart block and placement of a pacemaker during the same hospitalization were identified. Demographic characteristics, procedure and diagnostic codes, length of stay, and mortality were analyzed. Univariable and multivariable analyses were performed. Results There were 101,006 surgeries performed. The median age of patients was 0.5 years (interquartile range, 26 days to 3.2 years), and 1% of patients (n = 990) had heart block and placement of a pacemaker. Surgeries associated with the highest incidences of heart block and placement of a pacemaker included the double switch operation (15.6%), tricuspid valve (7.8%) and mitral valve (7.4%) replacement, atrial switch with ventricular septal defect repair (6.4%), and Rastelli operation (4.8%). On multivariable analysis, after controlling for surgical complexity, other comorbidities, age at surgery, admission year, and clustering by institution, patients with heart block and placement of a pacemaker had higher odds of mortality (odds ratio, 1.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.24-2.26; P <.001). Conclusions The incidence of postoperative heart block requiring permanent pacemaker placement immediately after congenital heart surgery is low (1%). However, these patients have higher mortality even after adjusting for heart surgery complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Volume152
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • congenital heart disease
  • heart block
  • pacemaker

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