Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome With Low Birth Weight or Prematurity: What Is the Optimal Approach?

Horacio G. Carvajal, Matthew W. Canter, Fei Wan, Pirooz Eghtesady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome with low birth weight or prematurity comprises a high-risk population with no optimal treatment pathway. Using the Pediatric Health Information System, we compared management approaches across the United States. Methods: We analyzed neonates (≤30 days) with birth weight <2500 grams or gestational age <36 weeks between 2012 and 2021. Four strategies were identified: Norwood procedure, ductus arteriosus stent + pulmonary artery banding, pulmonary artery banding + prostaglandin infusion, or comfort care. Outcomes included hospital survival, discharge disposition, staged palliation completion, and 1-year transplant-free survival. Results: Of 383 infants identified, 36.4% (n = 134) received comfort care, 43.9% (n = 165) Norwood, 12.4% (n = 49) ductal stent + pulmonary artery bands, and 8.8% (n = 34) pulmonary artery bands + prostaglandins. Neonates receiving comfort care had the lowest gestational age (35 weeks; interquartile range [IQR], 31.5-37 weeks) and birth weight (2.0 kg; IQR, 1.5-2.3 kg); 24.6% (33 of 134) had chromosomal anomalies. Infants undergoing primary Norwood had the highest birth weight (2.4 kg; IQR, 2.2-2.5 kg) and gestational age (37 weeks; IQR, 35-38 weeks). Glenn palliation was performed in 66.1% (109 of 165) compared with ductal stent + pulmonary artery band in 18.4% (9 of 49) and pulmonary artery band + prostaglandins in 35.3% (12 of 34). Only 11.3% (6 of 53) born <2 kg survived to 1 year, all after Norwood. Primary Norwood yielded higher hospital and 1-year transplant-free survival than hybrid strategies. Conclusions: Comfort care is routinely provided, particularly for infants with low birth weight, gestational age, or chromosomal anomalies. Primary Norwood offered the lowest hospital and 1-year mortality and highest palliation completion rates; birth weight was the most important factor determining 1-year survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-995
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2023


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