Prolonged post-surgery intensive care unit (ICU) stay for congenital heart disease (CHD) has been explored in the pediatric population. However, there is limited data for adult CHD (ACHD), also called grown-up congenital heart (GUCH) disease, especially in low-resource countries where intensive care beds are scarce. This study identifies factors associated with prolonged ICU stay following surgery for ACHD in Pakistan, a lower-middle-income country (LMIC).
This retrospective study included all adult patients (⩾18 years) who underwent cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass for their CHD from 2011-2016 at a tertiary-care private hospital in Pakistan. Prolonged ICU stay was defined as stay >6 days (75th percentile). Regression analysis was used to explore risk factors of prolonged ICU stay.
A total of 166 patients (53.6% males) with a mean age of 32.05 ± 12.11 years were included. Atrial septal defect repair was the most common surgery (42.2%). Most patients were categorized as Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery 1 (RACHS-1) Category 1 (51.8%) and Category 2 (30.1%). Forty-three of 166 patients (25.9%) experienced prolonged ICU stay. Complications occurred in 38.6% of patients postoperatively, with the most common being acute kidney injury (29.5%). On multivariable logistic regression adjusted for age, gender, and RACHS-1 categories, intraoperative inotrope score, cardiopulmonary bypass time, aortic cross-clamp time duration of mechanical ventilation, and postoperative acute kidney injury (AKI) were associated with prolonged ICU stay.
Surgeons managing ACHD in LMICs must strive for shorter operative durations and the judicious use of intraoperative inotropes in addition to anticipating and promptly managing postoperative complications such as AKI, to minimize ICU stay in countries where intensive care beds are a scarce resource.