A composite outcome for neonatal cardiac surgery research

Ryan J. Butts, Mark A. Scheurer, Sinai C. Zyblewski, Amy E. Wahlquist, Paul J. Nietert, Scott M. Bradley, Andrew M. Atz, Eric M. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether a composite outcome, derived of objective signs of inadequate cardiac output, would be associated with other important measures of outcomes and therefore be an appropriate end point for clinical trials in neonatal cardiac surgery. Methods: Neonates (n = 76) undergoing cardiac operations requiring cardiopulmonary bypass were prospectively enrolled. Patients were defined to have met the composite outcome if they had any of the following events before hospital discharge: death, the use of mechanical circulatory support, cardiac arrest requiring chest compressions, hepatic injury (2 times the upper limit of normal for aspartate aminotransferase or alanine aminotransferase), renal injury (creatinine >1.5 mg/dL), or lactic acidosis (an increasing lactate >5 mmol/L in the postoperative period). Associations between the composite outcome and the duration of mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit stay, hospital stay, and total hospital charges were determined. Results: The median age at the time of surgery was 7 days, and the median weight was 3.2 kg. The composite outcome was met in 39% of patients (30/76). Patients who met the composite outcome compared with those who did not had a longer duration of mechanical ventilation (4.9 vs 2.9 days, P <.01), intensive care unit stay (8.8 vs 5.7 days, P <.01), hospital stay (23 vs 12 days, P <.01), and increased hospital charges ($258,000 vs $170,000, P <.01). In linear regression analysis, controlling for surgical complexity, these differences remained significant (R2 = 0.29-0.42, P <.01). Conclusions: The composite outcome is highly associated with important early operative outcomes and may serve as a useful end point for future clinical research in neonates undergoing cardiac operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-433
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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