Digoxin Use in Infants with Single Ventricle Physiology: Secondary Analysis of the Pediatric Heart Network Infant Single Ventricle Trial Public Use Dataset

Dongngan T Truong, Shaji C Menon, Linda M Lambert, Phillip T Burch, Xiaoming Sheng, L LuAnn Minich, Richard V Williams
Pediatric Cardiology 2018, 39 (6): 1200-1209
Digoxin has been associated with reduced interstage mortality after Norwood procedure. We sought to determine its association with survival and change in weight-for-age Z-score (WAZ) before the superior cavopulmonary connection (SCPC) surgery and at 14 months in a heterogeneous group of single ventricle infants. We performed a post-hoc analysis of the Pediatric Heart Network Infant Single Ventricle public use dataset to determine associations between digoxin and survival, transplant-free survival, and change in WAZ pre-SCPC and at 14 months. Sub-analyses of survival and transplant-free survival were performed for subjects who underwent Damus-Kaye-Stansel (DKS)/Norwood. Propensity score weighting was used in Cox hazard-proportion models. Of 229 subjects, 82 (36%) received digoxin and 147 (64%) received no digoxin. Pre-SCPC and 14-month survival and transplant-free survival were not significantly different between the digoxin and no digoxin groups for the main cohort and DKS/Norwood sub-group. However, in DKS/Norwood subjects there was a trend towards improved interstage transplant-free survival in the digoxin group (95.7 vs. 89.6%, p = 0.08). Digoxin was associated with a greater decrease in WAZ from birth to pre-SCPC (- 1.96 ± 0.19 vs. - 1.31 ± 0.18, p < 0.001) and birth to 14 months (- 0.64 ± 0.15 vs. - 0.19 ± 0.15, p = 0.03). Digoxin was not associated with improved survival during the interstage or at 14 months in a mixed single ventricle cohort, but there was a trend towards improved interstage transplant-free survival in post-Norwood infants. As digoxin was associated with poorer weight gain, further research is needed to identify the risks/benefits for anatomic subtypes of infants with single ventricles.

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