Impact of Major Residual Lesions on Outcomes After Surgery for Congenital Heart Disease.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.03.304


BACKGROUND: Many factors affect outcomes after congenital cardiac surgery.

OBJECTIVES: The RLS (Residual Lesion Score) study explored the impact of severity of residual lesions on post-operative outcomes across operations of varying complexity.

METHODS: In a prospective, multicenter, observational study, 17 sites enrolled 1,149 infants undergoing 5 common operations: tetralogy of Fallot repair (n = 250), complete atrioventricular septal defect repair (n = 249), arterial switch operation (n = 251), coarctation or interrupted arch with ventricular septal defect (VSD) repair (n = 150), and Norwood operation (n = 249). The RLS was assigned based on post-operative echocardiography and clinical events: RLS 1 (trivial or no residual lesions), RLS 2 (minor residual lesions), or RLS 3 (reintervention for or major residual lesions before discharge). The primary outcome was days alive and out of hospital within 30 post-operative days (60 for Norwood). Secondary outcomes assessed post-operative course, including major medical events and days in hospital.

RESULTS: RLS 3 (vs. RLS 1) was an independent risk factor for fewer days alive and out of hospital (p ≤ 0.008) and longer post-operative hospital stay (p ≤ 0.02) for all 5 operations, and for all secondary outcomes after coarctation or interrupted arch with VSD repair and Norwood (p ≤ 0.03). Outcomes for RLS 1 versus 2 did not differ consistently. RLS alone explained 5% (tetralogy of Fallot repair) to 20% (Norwood) of variation in the primary outcome.

CONCLUSIONS: Adjusting for pre-operative factors, residual lesions after congenital cardiac surgery impacted in-hospital outcomes across operative complexity with greatest impact following complex operations. Minor residual lesions had minimal impact. These findings may provide guidance for surgeons when considering short-term risks and benefits of returning to bypass to repair residual lesions.

Journal Title

Journal of the American College of Cardiology





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Residual Lesion Score; days alive and out of the hospital; outcomes

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