Necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates undergoing the hybrid approach to complex congenital heart disease

Wendy A. Luce, Randall M. Schwartz, Wendi Beauseau, Peter J. Giannone, Beth L. Boettner, John P. Cheatham, Mark E. Galantowicz, Clifford L. Cua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate the prevalence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in neonates undergoing the Stage I hybrid procedure for palliation of complex congenital heart disease (CHD). Neonates undergoing the Norwood surgery for hypoplastic left-heart syndrome have the highest risk for NEC of all CHD patients. The hybrid procedure is another palliative option for hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, but NEC in neonates undergoing this procedure has not been reported. Design: Retrospective chart review of 73 neonates who underwent the hybrid procedure for palliation of complex CHD. Demographic, perinatal, perioperative, clinical, and procedural data were collected. NEC was defined as modified Bell's Stage II and above. Setting: The cardiothoracic and neonatal intensive care units in a large free-standing children's hospital. Patients: All neonates who underwent the hybrid Stage I procedure for the palliation of complex CHD from April 2002 through April 2008. Measurements and Main Results: Seventy-three neonates were reviewed and 11.0% (eight of 73) developed NEC. Of the patients with NEC, 37.5% (three of eight) died and two patients required abdominal surgery. Earlier gestational age (<37 wks), lower maximum dose of prostaglandin infusion, and unexpected readmission to the intensive care unit were statistically associated with NEC (p = .009, 0.02, and 0.04, respectively). No other demographic, perinatal, perioperative, clinical, or procedural variables were associated with the development of NEC in this patient population, including enteral feeding regimens, umbilical artery catheters, inotrope use, and average oxygen saturation and diastolic blood pressure. Conclusions: The prevalence of NEC in patients undergoing the hybrid procedure is comparable to that reported for neonates undergoing the Norwood procedure. Earlier gestational age is a significant risk factor for NEC in patients who undergo the hybrid Stage I procedure. Multidisciplinary approaches to better understand abdominal complications and to develop feeding regimens in neonates undergoing the hybrid approach to complex CHD are needed to improve outcomes and decrease morbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-51
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Luce's research is supported, in part, by Grant K12 HD043372-06 from the National Institutes of Health and internal start-up funding from The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • cardiac surgical procedures
  • congenital heart defects
  • digestive system diseases
  • hypoplastic left-heart syndrome
  • necrotizing enterocolitis
  • neonatal diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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