Stratifying Severity of Acute Respiratory Failure Severity in Cyanotic Congenital Heart Disease

Hugues Yver, Victoria Habet, Aaron G. DeWitt, Neal J. Thomas, Nadir Yehya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypoxemia is used to stratify severity in acute respiratory failure (ARF) but is less useful in cyanotic congenital heart disease (CCHD) due to an inability to differentiate hypoxemia from lung injury versus cardiac shunting. Therefore, we aimed to determine whether variables related to respiratory mechanics were associated with outcomes to assist in stratifying ARF severity in pediatric CCHD. We performed a retrospective cohort study from a single cardiac intensive care unit enrolling children with CCHD with ARF requiring mechanical ventilation between 2011 and 2019. Time-averaged ventilator settings and oxygenation data in the first 24 h of ARF were screened for association with the primary outcome of 28-day mortality. Of 344 eligible patients, peak inspiratory pressure (PIP) and driving pressure (ΔP) were selected as candidate variables to stratify ARF severity. PIP (OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.02–1.19) and ΔP (1.11, 95% CI 1.01–1.24) were associated with higher mortality and fewer ventilator-free days (VFDs) at 28 days after adjusting for age, severity of cardiac history, and FiO2. A three-level (mild, moderate, severe) severity stratification was established for both PIP (≤ 20, 21–29, ≥ 30) and ΔP (≤ 16, 17–24, ≥ 25), showing increasing mortality (both P < 0.01), decreasing VFDs and increasing ventilator days in survivors (all P < 0.05) across increasing pressures. Overall, we found that higher PIP and ΔP were associated with mortality and duration of ventilation across a three-level severity stratification system in pediatric CCHD with ARF, providing a practical method to prognosticate in subjects with multifactorial etiologies for hypoxemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1276
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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