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Risk Factors of Chylothorax After Congenital Heart Surgery in Infants: A Single-Centre Retrospective Study.

BACKGROUND: Studies of chylothorax after congenital heart disease in infants are rare. Chylothorax has a higher incidence in infancy, but its risk factors are not well understood.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to investigate the risk factors of chylothorax after congenital heart surgery in infants.

METHODS: This retrospective study included 176 infants who underwent congenital heart disease surgery at the Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute, China, between 2016 and 2020. According to the occurrence of chylothorax, the patients were divided into a control group (n = 88) and a case group (n = 88). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed to analyse the incidence and influencing factors of chylothorax after congenital heart surgery in infants.

RESULTS: Between 2016 and 2020, the annual incidence rate fluctuated between 1.55% and 3.17%, and the total incidence of chylothorax was 2.02%. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that postoperative albumin ( p = 0.041; odds ratio [OR] = 0.095), preoperative mechanical ventilation ( p = 0.001; OR = 1.053) and preterm birth ( p = 0.002; OR = 5.783) were risk factors for postoperative chylothorax in infants with congenital heart disease.

CONCLUSION: The total incidence of chylothorax was 2.02% and the annual incidence rate fluctuated between 1.55% and 3.17% between 2016 and 2020. Premature infants, longer preoperative mechanical ventilation and lower albumin after congenital heart surgery may be risk factors for chylothorax. In addition, infants with chylothorax are inclined to be infected, need more respiratory support, use a chest drainage tube for longer and remain longer in hospital.

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