Metabolic alkalosis after pediatric cardiac surgery

van Thiel, Robert J.; Koopman, Sofie R.; Takkenberg, Johanna J.M.; Derk Jan Ten Harkel, Arend; Bogers, Ad J.J.C.
August 2005
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;Aug2005, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p229
Academic Journal
Abstract: Objective: To determine occurrence, causes and associated mortality of postoperative metabolic alkalosis in pediatric cardiac surgery. Methods: We retrospectively analyzed clinical and biochemical variables of 186 consecutive cardiac operations other than ductal ligations on children less than 2 years old during the years 1999 and 2000. Metabolic alkalosis was defined as a pH>7.48 corrected for PCO2, with a base excess ≥5 on two or more consecutive measurements during an 8h period. Results: Median age was 15 weeks [range 2 days–95 weeks] and median weight 4.5kg [range 2.1–15.7kg]. In 157 cases, cardiopulmonary bypass was used. In 92 [49%] procedures, metabolic alkalosis occurred with the highest corrected pH 24.3h after operation. Multivariate regression analysis associated age [P<0.001], cardiopulmonary bypass [P<0.001] and preoperative ductal dependency [P=0.04] with postoperative metabolic alkalosis. Of the surgical procedures the arterial switch for transposition of the great arteries [n=19] was strongly associated with metabolic alkalosis [100%, P<0.001]. Hemodilution appeared to enhance the development of alkalosis: those who experienced alkalosis had been hemodiluted to a greater extent [P=0.007]. Nearly 95% of patients experienced some increase in bicarbonate, but patients with metabolic alkalosis experienced more than those without [5.9 versus 3.5mmol/l, P<0.001]. There were four postoperative deaths, only one coincidental with metabolic alkalosis. Conclusions: Metabolic alkalosis has a high incidence after pediatric cardiac surgery, strongly associated with younger age, cardiopulmonary bypass, preoperative ductal dependency and perioperative hemodilution. Early recognition allows for timely therapeutic intervention.


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