Risk of Mortality and Complications in Preterm Infants with Congenital Heart Disease

Pavankumar Kamat


October 24, 2021


  • Preterm infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) had an increased risk of in-hospital mortality, necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), sepsis and prolonged invasive respiratory support, but a lower risk of intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) compared with those without CHD.

  • The risk of in-hospital mortality was higher in moderate to late preterm infants with CHD.

Why this matters

  • Few studies have evaluated the effect of CHD on mortality and morbidity in preterm infants and many have excluded those born either extremely preterm or late/moderately preterm.

Study design

  • A retrospective case-control study included 247 preterm infants with CHD born at <36 weeks’ gestation between 2004 and 2017 and 494 matched control participants.

  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • Preterm infants with CHD vs control group had a significantly increased risk of in-hospital mortality (OR, 7.39; 95% CI, 4.37-12.5; P<.001).

  • Preterm infants with CHD vs control group had a higher risk of (OR; 95% CI):

    • NEC (2.42; 1.32-4.45; P=.005);

    • sepsis (1.68; 1.23-2.28; P=.001); and

    • invasive respiratory support of ≥28 days (2.34; 1.19-4.58; P=.017).

  • Preterm infants with CHD had a lower risk of IVH (OR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.11-0.42; P=.0001).


  • Retrospective design.


Dumitrascu Biris I, Mintoft A, Harris C, Zeshan R, Jheeta JS, Pushparajah K, Khan H, Fox G. Mortality and Morbidity in Preterm Infants with Congenital Heart Disease. Acta Paediatr. 2021 Oct 16 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1111/apa.16155. PMID: 34655490  View abstract 

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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