Cardiac Arrest in the Pediatric Cardiac ICU: Is Medical Congenital Heart Disease a Predictor of Survival?∗

Gurpreet S. Dhillon, Javier J. Lasa, Varun Aggarwal, Paul A. Checchia, Aarti C. Bavare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: Children with medical cardiac disease experience poorer survival to hospital discharge after cardiopulmonary arrest compared with children with surgical cardiac disease. Limited literature exists describing epidemiology and factors associated with mortality in this heterogeneous population. We aim to evaluate the clinical characteristics and outcomes after cardiopulmonary arrest in medical cardiac patients. Design: We performed a retrospective review of pediatric cardiac patients who underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation in a tertiary care cardiac ICU. Surgical cardiac patients underwent cardiac surgery immediately prior to ICU admission. Nonsurgical cardiac patients were divided into two groups based on the presence of congenital heart disease: congenital heart disease medical or noncongenital heart disease medical. Clinical and outcome variables were collected. Primary outcome was survival to hospital discharge. Settings: Texas Children's Hospital cardiac ICU. Patients: Patients admitted to Texas Children's Hospital cardiac ICU between January 2011 and December 2016. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: Of 150 cardiopulmonary arrest events reviewed, 90 index events were included (46 surgical, 26 congenital heart disease medical, and 18 noncongenital heart disease medical). There was no difference in primary outcome among the three groups. The absence of an epinephrine infusion precardiopulmonary arrest was associated with increased odds of survival in the congenital heart disease medical group (p = 0.03). Noncongenital heart disease medical patients experienced pulseless ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation more frequently than congenital heart disease medical patients (p = 0.02). Congenital heart disease medical patients had trends toward longer cardiac arrest durations, higher prevalence of neurologic sequelae postcardiopulmonary arrest, and higher mortality when extracorporeal support at cardiopulmonary resuscitation was employed. Conclusions: Although trends in first documented rhythm, neurologic sequelae, and inotropic support prior to cardiopulmonary arrest were noted between groups, no significant differences in survival after cardiac arrest were seen. Larger scale studies are needed to better describe factors associated with cardiopulmonary arrest as well as survival in heterogeneous medical cardiac populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-242
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiopulmonary arrest
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • congenital heart disease
  • extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • medical cardiac
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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