Sepsis After Cardiac Surgery Early in Infancy and Adverse 4.5‐Year Neurocognitive Outcomes Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Background We aimed to determine whether sepsis is associated with neurocognitive outcomes 4.5 years after congenital heart disease surgery in early infancy. Methods and Results A secondary analysis from a prospective inception cohort included all children having congenital heart disease surgery done at ≤6 weeks of age with cardiopulmonary bypass at the Western Canadian referral center from 1996 to 2009. Follow‐up at the referral center determined the primary outcomes at 4.5 years with full‐scale, performance, and verbal intelligence quotients on the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence. Perioperative variables were collected prospectively, and confirmation of blood culture–positive sepsis was done retrospectively. Multiple linear regression models for neurocognitive outcomes and multiple Cox proportional hazards regression for mortality were determined. Sepsis occurred in 97 of 502 patients (19%) overall and in 76 of 396 survivors (19%) with 4.5‐year follow‐up. By 4.5 years, there were 91 (18%) deaths, and 396 of 411 survivors (96%) had follow‐up completed. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was associated with worse scores on all neurocognitive outcomes on multivariable regression; the association between extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and full‐scale intelligence quotient had a regression coefficient of −13.6 (95% CI −21.3 to −5.9; P =0.001). Sepsis perioperatively was associated with performance and verbal intelligence quotients, with a trend for full‐scale intelligence quotient ( P =0.058) on multivariable regression. The regression coefficient for sepsis was strongest for performance intelligence quotient (−5.31; 95% CI −9.84 to −0.78; P =0.022). Sepsis was not but extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was associated with mortality by 4.5 years. Conclusions Perioperative sepsis and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were associated with adverse neurocognitive outcomes on multivariable regression. Quality improvement to prevent sepsis has the potential to improve long‐term neurocognitive outcomes in infants after surgery for congenital heart disease.


  • Sidhu, Naveen
  • Joffe, Ari R
  • Doughty, Paul
  • Vatanpour, Shabnam
  • Dinu, Irina
  • Alton, Gwen
  • Acton, Bryan
  • Robertson, Charlene MT

publication date

  • August 25, 2015

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