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CHD affects over 1 million children in the United States. Studies show decreased mortality from CHD with newborn cardiac screening. California began a screening programme on 1 July, 2013. We evaluated the effect of mandatory screening on surgical outcomes at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital since 1 July, 2013.
We evaluated all infants having congenital heart surgery at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital between 1 July, 2013 and 31 December, 2018. Primary target diagnoses include hypoplastic left heart syndrome, pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, tetralogy of Fallot, total anomalous pulmonary venous return, transposition of the great arteries, tricuspid atresia, and truncus arteriosus. Secondary target diagnoses include aortic coarctation, double outlet right ventricle, Ebstein anomaly, interrupted aortic arch, and single ventricle. Patients were stratified by timing of diagnosis (pre-screen, screen positive, and screen negative). Primary end points were post-operative length of stay, operative mortality, absolute mortality, and actuarial survival.
The cohort included 274 infants. Of these, 79% were diagnosed prior to screening (46% prenatally). Only 38% of those screened were positive, with 13% of the cohort having a “missed diagnosis.”
Primary targets were more likely to be diagnosed by screening (53%), while secondary targets were unlikely to be diagnosed by screening (10%) (p = 0.004). Outcomes such as length of stay, operative mortality, and actuarial survival were not different based on timing of diagnosis (p > 0.05). Despite late diagnosis, those not diagnosed until after screening did not have adverse outcomes.
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