Early systemic-to-pulmonary artery shunt intervention in neonates with congenital heart disease

Matthew J. O'Connor, Chitra Ravishankar, Jean A. Ballweg, Matthew J. Gillespie, J. William Gaynor, Sarah Tabbutt, Troy E. Dominguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the incidence, risk factors, and outcomes after early, unplanned intervention on systemic-to-pulmonary artery shunts in neonates. Methods: We retrospectively studied all neonates undergoing systemic-to-pulmonary artery shunt placement at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia between September 1, 2002, and May 1, 2005. Patients requiring transcatheter or surgical systemic-to-pulmonary artery shunt intervention before discharge were compared with those not undergoing shunt intervention. Results: A total of 206 patients underwent shunt placement. Diagnoses included hypoplastic left heart syndrome (62.1%), pulmonary atresia (15%), tricuspid atresia (4.9%), tetralogy of Fallot (2.4%), and other lesions with obstruction to systemic (10.7%) or pulmonary blood flow (4.9%). Twenty-one interventions occurred in 20 patients (9.7%). Risk factors for intervention included heterotaxy syndrome (P = .04), congenital abnormality (P = .04), and a trend toward lower birthweight. In patients with a modified Blalock-Taussig shunt, similar risk factors were identified and the incidence of intervention decreased with increasing shunt size. In-hospital mortality was 30% (6/20) for the cases and 8.1% (15/186) for the nonintervention group (P = .02). Long-term survival was significantly lower in patients requiring intervention (P = .002). This group also had a higher incidence of infections (P < .001) and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (P < .001), and longer hospital stay (P = .001). Conclusions: In neonates undergoing systemic-to-pulmonary artery shunt placement, approximately 10% underwent shunt intervention before discharge. Some factors, such as low birthweight, shunt size, noncardiac congenital abnormalities, and heterotaxy syndrome, may help identify patients at risk. Patients undergoing intervention experienced increased morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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