Comparison of gastrointestinal morbidity after Norwood and hybrid palliation for complex heart defects

Scott L. Weiss, Jeffrey G Gossett, Sunjay Kaushal, Deli Wang, Carl L Backer, Eric L. Wald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study aimed to compare the incidence of gastrointestinal complications among infants with single-ventricle heart defects after three first-stage palliation strategies: Norwood-modified Blalock-Taussig shunt (mBTS), Norwood right ventricle-to-pulmonary artery conduit (Sano), and hybrid procedures. A retrospective chart review was performed in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit at a tertiary care medical center. The subjects were 32 neonates who had undergone single-ventricle palliation including 13 Norwood-mBTS, 11 Sano, and 8 hybrid procedures. The measurements included baseline as well as pre- and postoperative patient characteristics. The primary outcome was postoperative intraabdominal complications, and the secondary outcomes were feeding intolerance and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Intraabdominal complications occurred for 34%, feeding intolerance for 13%, and NEC for 13% of the patients. The hybrid patients had a higher incidence of intraabdominal complications (75%) than the Norwood-mBTS (31%) or Sano (9%) patients (P = 0.01). The relative risk for intraabdominal complications in the hybrid group was 3.6 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.5-8.7). In the multivariate analysis, the hybrid procedure remained an independent predictor of intraabdominal complications (hazard ratio, 8.4; 95% CI, 2.0-34.5). The hybrid, Norwood-mBTS, and Sano patients did not differ significantly in terms of feeding intolerance (25, 15, and 0%, respectively; P = 0.25) or NEC (25, 8, and 9%; P = 0.46). Gastrointestinal morbidity was common regardless of the palliative approach, although the hybrid patients had the highest incidence of intraabdominal complications. This supports the need for caution in using enteral nutrition with all single-ventricle patients, including the hybrid population. Patients undergoing the hybrid procedure may benefit from implementation of standardized feeding protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-398
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric cardiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


  • Cardiac surgery
  • Congenital
  • Enterocolitis
  • Heart defects
  • Intensive care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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