Perioperative events in children with pulmonary hypertension undergoing non-cardiac procedures

Meghan L. Bernier, Ariel I. Jacob, Joseph M. Collaco, Sharon A. McGrath-Morrow, Lewis H. Romer, Chinwe C. Unegbu

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13 Scopus citations


Prior limited research indicates that children with pulmonary hypertension (PH) have higher rates of adverse perioperative outcomes when undergoing non-cardiac procedures and cardiac catheterizations. We examined a single-center retrospective cohort of children with active or pharmacologically controlled PH who underwent cardiac catheterization or non-cardiac surgery during 2006–2014. Preoperative characteristics and perioperative courses were examined to determine relationships between the severity or etiology of PH, type of procedure, and occurrence of major and minor events. We identified 77 patients who underwent 148 procedures at a median age of six months. The most common PH etiologies were bronchopulmonary dysplasia (46.7%), congenital heart disease (29.9%), and congenital diaphragmatic hernia (14.3%). Cardiac catheterizations (39.2%), and abdominal (29.1%) and central venous access (8.9%) were the most common procedures. Major events included failed planned extubation (5.6%), postoperative cardiac arrest (4.7%), induction or intraoperative cardiac arrest (2%), and postoperative death (1.4%). Major events were more frequent in patients with severe baseline PH (P = 0.006) and the incidence was associated with procedure type (P = 0.05). Preoperative inhaled nitric oxide and prostacyclin analog therapies were associated with decreased incidence of minor events (odds ratio [OR] = 0.32, P = 0.046 and OR = 0.24, P = 0.008, respectively), but no change in the incidence of major events. PH etiology was not associated with events (P = 0.24). Children with PH have increased risk of perioperative complications; cardiac arrest and death occur more frequently in patients with severe PH and those undergoing thoracic procedures. Risk may be modified by using preoperative pulmonary vasodilator therapy and lends itself to further prospective studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPulmonary Circulation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Outcomes
  • Pediatric
  • Pulmonary vascular disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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