Early cavopulmonary anastomosis in very young infants after the Norwood procedure: Impact on oxygenation, resource utilization, and mortality

Robert D.B. Jaquiss, Nancy S. Ghanayem, George M. Hoffman, Raymond T. Fedderly, Joseph R. Cava, Kathleen A. Mussatto, James S. Tweddell, David Campbell, Winfield Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Background: The optimal timing of second-stage palliation after Norwood operations remains undefined. Advantages of early cavopulmonary anastomosis are early elimination of volume load and shortening the high-risk interstage period. Potential disadvantages include severe cyanosis, prolonged pleural drainage and hospitalization, and excess mortality. We reviewed our recent experience to evaluate the safety of early cavopulmonary anastomosis. Methods: Eighty-five consecutive patients undergoing post-Norwood operation cavopulmonary anastomosis were divided into group I (cavopulmonary anastomosis at <4 months; n = 33) and group II (cavopulmonary anastomosis at >4 months; n = 52). Groups were compared for age; size; early and late mortality; preoperative, initial postoperative, and discharge oxygen saturation; and duration of mechanical ventilation, intensive care unit stay, pleural drainage, and hospitalization. Results: Group I patients were younger than group II patients (94 ± 21 days vs 165 ± 44 days, respectively; P < .001) and smaller (4.8 ± 0.8 kg vs 5.8 ± 0.9 kg; P < .001). The preoperative oxygen saturation was not different (group I, 75% ± 10%; group II, 78% ± 8%; P = .142). The oxygen saturation was lower immediately after surgery in group I compared with group II (75% ± 7% vs 81% ± 7%, respectively; P < .001) but not by discharge (group I, 79% ± 4%; group II, 80% ± 4%). Younger patients were ventilated longer (62 ± 86 hours vs 19 ± 42 hours; P = .001), in the intensive care unit longer (130 ± 111 hours vs 104 ± 94 hours; P = .049), hospitalized longer (12.5 ± 11.5 days vs 10.3 ± 14.8 days; P = .012), and required longer pleural drainage (106 ± 45 hours vs 104 ± 93 hours; P = .046). Hospital survival was 100% in both groups. Actuarial survival to 12 months was 96% ± 4% for group I and 96% ± 3% for group II. Conclusions: Early cavopulmonary anastomosis after the Norwood operation is safe. Younger patients are more cyanotic initially after surgery and have a longer duration of mechanical ventilation, pleural drainage, intensive care unit stay, and hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)982-989
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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