Achieving Benchmark Results for Neonatal Palliation of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and Related Anomalies in an Emerging Program

Ali Dodge-Khatami, William Z Chancellor, Bhawna Gupta, Samantha R Seals, Makram R Ebeid, Sarosh P Batlivala, Mary B Taylor, Jorge D Salazar
World Journal for Pediatric & Congenital Heart Surgery 2015, 6 (3): 393-400

BACKGROUND: Results of surgical management of hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and related anomalies are often compared to published benchmark data which reflect the use of a variety of surgical and hybrid protocols. We report encouraging results achieved in an emerging program, despite a learning curve at all care levels. Rather than relying on a single preferred protocol, surgical management was based on matching surgical strategy to individual patient factors.

METHODS: From 2010 to 2014, a total of 47 consecutive patients with HLHS or related anomalies with ductal-dependent systemic circulation underwent initial surgical palliation, including 30 Norwood stage I, 8 hybrid stage I, and 9 salvage-to-Norwood procedures. True hybrid procedures entailed bilateral pulmonary artery banding and ductal stenting. In the salvage-to-Norwood strategy, ductal stenting was withheld in favor of continued prostaglandin infusion in anticipation of a deferred Norwood procedure. Cardiac comorbidities (obstructed pulmonary venous return, poor ventricular function, and atrioventricular valve regurgitation) and noncardiac comorbidities influenced the choice of treatment strategies and were analyzed as potential risk factors for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support or in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS: Overall hospital survival was 81% (Norwood 83.3%, hybrid 88%, "salvage" 67%; P = .4942). Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support was used for eight (17%) patients with two survivors. For cases with obstructed pulmonary venous return (n = 10, 21%), management choices favored a hybrid or salvage strategy (P = .0026). Aortic atresia (n = 22, 47%) was treated by a Norwood or salvage-to-Norwood. No cardiac, noncardiac, or genetic comorbidities were identified as independent risk factors for ECMO or discharge mortality in a multivariable analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: Our emerging program achieved outcomes that compare favorably to published benchmark data with respect to hospital survival. These results reflect rigorous interdisciplinary teamwork and a flexible approach to surgical palliation based on matching surgical strategy to patient factors. With major associated cardiac/noncardiac comorbidity and antegrade coronary flow, a true hybrid with ductal stenting was our preferred strategy. For high-risk situations such as aortic atresia with obstructed pulmonary venous return, the salvage hybrid-bridge-to-Norwood strategy may help achieve survival albeit with increased resource utilization.

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