J Med Assoc Thai 2011; 94 (8):133

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Nutritional Status of Pediatric Patients with Congenital Heart Disease: Pre- and Post Cardiac Surgery
Ratanachu-ek S Mail, Pongdara A

Background: Malnutrition is common in infants and children with congenital heart disease (CHD). Cardiac surgery has
improved patient survival and nutritional status.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of cardiac surgery on nutritional status of pediatric patients with CHD.

Material and Method: A prospective cohort study was conducted in pediatric patients with CHD, admitted for cardiac
surgery at Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health (QSNICH), Bangkok, from August 1st, 2002 to 2003. Demographic
data, cardiac and related problems were obtained before operation. Anthropometry was performed at the presentation and
post cardiac surgery. Nutritional status was assessed by Z-score of weight for age (ZWA), weight for height (ZWH) and height
for age (ZHA). Malnutrition was defined as Z-score <- 2 and compared pre- and post-operation using Chi-square. Paired ttest
was used to compare mean Z-score and p-value < 0.05 was statistically significant.

Results: All of 161 pediatric patients with CHD undergoing cardiac surgery were 41% males and 59% females. Patients’ age
ranged from 1 month to 15 years. The related problems included low birth weight (28%) and feeding problem (58%). The
most common CHD was ventricular septal defect (29%). The nutritional status of the patients before surgery was defined as
normal 57%, malnutrition 40% and over-nutrition 3%. Malnutrition included underweight 28%, wasting 22% and stunting
16%. Post cardiac surgery, the means of ZWA, ZWH and ZHA were significantly increased and the prevalence of underweight
and wasting were decreased to 17% and 6% respectively, with statistically significant from the baseline (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: Malnutrition was found in 40% of pediatric patients with CHD and cardiac surgery has a significant positive
effect on weight gain and nutritional status.

Keywords: Congenital heart disease, Cardiac surgery, Nutritional status, Malnutrition

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