ISSN : 1301-5680
e-ISSN : 2149-8156
Turkish Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery     
Risk factors and early outcomes of chylothorax following congenital cardiac surgery: A single-center experience
Emine Hekim Yılmaz1, Oktay Korun2, Murat Çiçek3, Nurgül Yurtseven4
1Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Dr. Siyami Ersek Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Türkiye
2Department of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery, Istanbul University Cerrahpasa Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Türkiye
3Department of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery, Dr. Siyami Ersek Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Türkiye
4Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Dr. Siyami Ersek Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Türkiye
DOI : 10.5606/tgkdc.dergisi.2023.24483
Background: This study aims to investigate the incidence and risk factors for chylothorax and to evaluate the effect of chylothorax on the early postoperative outcomes following congenital cardiac surgery.

Methods: A total of 1,053 patients (606 males, 447 females; median age: 12 months; range, 3 days to 48 years) who underwent surgery for congenital heart disease at our institute between January 2018 and December 2019 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients with chylothorax were identified and the data of this cohort was compared with the entire study population. Following the diagnosis of chylothorax, a standardized management protocol was applied to all patients.

Results: Of 1,053 patients operated, 78 (7.4%) were diagnosed with chylothorax. In the univariate analysis, younger age, peritoneal dialysis, preoperative need for mechanical ventilation, surgical complexity, delayed sternal closure, high vasoactive inotrope score in the first 24 h after operation, residual or additional cardiac lesions which required reoperations were found to be the risk factors for chylothorax (p<0.05). In the multivariate analysis, the correlation persisted with only younger age, infections, and peritoneal dialysis requirement (p<0.05). In the chylothorax group, ventilation times were longer, and re-intubation and infection rates were higher (p<0.05). Although the length of intensive care unit and hospital stay was significantly longer in this patient group, there was no significant association between the development of chylothorax and in-hospital mortality (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Chylothorax following congenital cardiac surgery is a significant problem which prolongs the length of hospital stay and increases the infection rates. Complex cardiac pathologies which require surgery at early ages and re-operations are risk factors for chylothorax. Although there is no consensus on the most optimal therapeutic strategy, standardizing the management protocol may improve the results.

Keywords : Chylothorax, congenital cardiac surgery, postoperative complications
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