Steroid use before pediatric cardiac operations using cardiopulmonary bypass: An international survey of 36 centers

Paul A. Checchia*, Ronald A. Bronicki, John M. Costello, David P. Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


Objective: Steroid administration before pediatric cardiac operations using cardiopulmonary bypass has been shown to modulate the inflammatory response and reduce myocardial injury. We hypothesized that current steroid administration practices among pediatric cardiac surgical centers are highly variable. Design: Questionnaire survey. Setting: Pediatric intensive care units. Subjects: All members of the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society. Interventions: A self-administered survey was sent to >130 members and 70 institutions participating in the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Society. Measurements and Main Results: Thirty-six questionnaires were returned: 14 international and 22 domestic centers. Cumulatively, these centers treat >11,000 pediatric cardiac patients per year. Ninety-seven percent (35 of 36) of these centers report the use of steroids before cardiopulmonary bypass, yet only 40% (14 of 35) administer steroids with every case. Of the 21 centers that selectively use steroids, 12 do so only for neonates, five administer steroids based on surgeon preference, and four administer steroids for cases anticipated to involve bypass time >2 hrs or deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. Of the 35 centers using steroids, 11 deliver a single dose in the circuit prime, 18 administer a single dose to the patient, and six give multiple doses. The timing of the steroid dose to the patient is variable; 12 centers administer a dose on induction of anesthesia; six centers administer the dose 2-12 hrs before operation. Regimens in the six centers using multiple doses of steroids before cardiopulmonary bypass are as follows: administration at induction and in the prime (two centers); 12 hrs preoperatively and at induction (one center); prime, induction, and 6 hrs preoperatively (one center); prime and midnight preoperatively (one center); and prime plus 2 and 8 hrs preoperatively (one center). Eight centers continue steroid administration following bypass. Conclusion: Although nearly all centers surveyed administer steroids before cardiopulmonary bypass, the type, dosing, route, and timing of administration are highly variable. The inconsistencies in these data and the pediatric literature would support the undertaking of a large, multiple-center clinical trial to evaluate the risks and benefits of steroid administration before pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-444
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Critical Care Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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