Neurological Injury After Neonatal Cardiac SurgeryCLINICAL PERSPECTIVE
A Randomized, Controlled Trial of 2 Perfusion Techniques
Background—Complex neonatal cardiac surgery is associated with cerebral injury. In particular, aortic arch repair, requiring either deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA) or antegrade cerebral perfusion (ACP), entails a high risk of perioperative injury. It is unknown whether ACP results in less cerebral injury than DHCA.
Methods and Results—Thirty-seven neonates with an aortic arch obstruction presenting for univentricular or biventricular repair were randomized to either DHCA or ACP. Preoperatively and 1 week after surgery, magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 36 patients (1 patient died during the hospital stay). The presence of new postoperative cerebral injury was scored, and results were entered into a sequential analysis, which allows for immediate data analysis. After the 36th patient, it was clear that there was no difference between DHCA and ACP in terms of new cerebral injury. Preoperatively, 50% of patients had evidence of cerebral injury. Postoperatively, 14 of 18 DHCA patients (78%) had new injury versus 13 of 18 ACP patients (72%) (P=0.66). White matter injury was the most common type of injury in both groups, but central infarctions occurred exclusively after ACP (0 vs 6/18 [33%]; P=0.02). Early motor and cognitive outcomes at 24 months were assessed and were similar between groups (P=0.28 and P=0.25, respectively). Additional analysis revealed lower postoperative arterial Pco2 as a risk factor for new white matter injury (P=0.04).
Conclusions—In this group of neonates undergoing complex cardiac surgery, we were unable to demonstrate a difference in the incidence of perioperative cerebral injury after ACP compared with DHCA. Both techniques resulted in a high incidence of new white matter injury, with central infarctions occurring exclusively after ACP.
- Received April 24, 2013.
- Accepted September 16, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.