Association between congenital heart disease and stroke: Insights from a national database


Advocate Children's Hospital, Oak Lawn


To delineate prevalence of stroke in the pediatric intensive care unit and to determine risk factors for stroke and association of stroke with mortality in patients with congenital heart disease. Retrospective cohort study. Patients admitted to pediatric intensive care units in the USA participating in the Pediatric Health Information System database from 2016 to 2021. Patients were categorized as those who experienced ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke and those with congenital heart disease. We performed univariate and multivariate logistic regressions to determine risk factors associated with stroke and then developed a predictive model for stroke development in patients with congenital heart disease. Of 426,029 admissions analyzed, 4237 (0.9%) patients experienced stroke and 1197 (1.4%) of 80,927 patients with congenital heart disease developed stroke (odds ratio 1.15, 95% confidence interval 1.06-1.24). Patients with congenital heart disease, younger age, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, mechanical ventilation, and cardiac arrest were most strongly associated with increased risk of stroke. Stroke increased odds of mortality for patients with congenital heart disease (odds ratio 2.49, 95% confidence interval 2.08-2.98). A risk score greater than 0 was associated with a 33.3% risk of stroke for patients with congenital heart disease (negative predictive value of 99%, sensitivity 69%, specificity 63%). Children with congenital heart disease are at increased risk for developing stroke, which is associated with increased mortality. Early identification of the most vulnerable patients may enable providers to implement preventative measures or rapid treatment strategies to prevent neurologic morbidity.



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