Background. This study reviews our 10-year experience with the modified Norwood procedure to determine its early and midterm outcomes. The focus is on the impact of evolving management strategies and accumulated institutional experience. Methods. A modified Norwood operation was performed in 171 infants over a 10-year period. Sixty-eight percent of the infants were male, the median age at operation was 6 days (range 1 to 175 days), and the median weight was 3.3 kg (range 1.7 to 4.8 kg). The 10-year period was divided into three eras: era I; 1990 through 1993; era II; 1994 through 1997; and era III; 1998 into 2000. Outcomes and risk factors for mortality were sought. Results. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome or a variant was the primary diagnosis in 118 infants (69%). The overall 5-year survival rate was 43%. Multivariate analysis revealed that only need of preoperative ventilatory support, earlier date of operation, and lower weight at operation were significant independent predictors of increased time-related mortality. Morphologic features such as a diagnosis other than hypoplastic left heart syndrome, ascending aortic size, and noncardiac anomalies were not significantly associated with an increased risk of death. The hospital survival rate for stage-one palliation in era III was 82%, significantly better than that in the preceding eras (p<0.001). Attrition between stages one and two accounted for a 15% mortality rate among hospital survivors. Conclusions. With increasing experience and improvements in perioperative care and surgical technique, good outcomes can be expected for the first-stage modified Norwood procedure. Greater monitoring of patients in the interstage period may reduce interval mortality and improve overall survival.
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