Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Patterns of Practice and Outcomes in Europe and China: An Analysis of the European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association Congenital Heart Surgery Database

Claudia Herbst*, Haibo Zhang, Renjie Hue, Juergen Hoerer, Masamichi Ono, Vladimiro Vida, Tjark Ebels, Andrzej Kansy, Jeffrey P. Jacobs, Zdzislaw Tobota, Bohdan Maruszewski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: The European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association (ECHSA) Congenital Heart Surgery Database (CHSD) was founded in 1999 and is open for worldwide participation. The current dataset includes a large amount of surgical data from both Europe and China. The purpose of this analysis is to compare patterns of practice and outcomes among pediatric congenital heart defect surgeries in Europe and China using the ECHSA-CHSD. Methods: We examined all European (125 centers, 58,261 operations) and Chinese (13 centers, 23,920 operations) data in the ECHSA-CHSD from 2006-2018. Operative mortality, postoperative length of stay, median patient age and weight were calculated for the ten benchmark operations for China and Europe, respectively. Results: Benchmark procedure distribution frequencies differed between Europe and China. In China, ventricular septal defect repair comprised approximately 70% of procedures, while Norwood operations comprised less than one percent of all procedures. Neonatal cardiac procedures were rare in China overall. For procedures in STAT mortality category 1, Chinese centers had lower operative mortality rates, while procedures in categories 3 and 5 mortality is lower in European centers. Operative mortality over the time period decreased from 3.89% to 1.64% for the whole cohort, with a sharper decline in China. This drop coincides with an increase of submitted procedures over this 13-year-period. Conclusion: Chinese centers had higher programmatic volume of congenital heart surgeries, while European centers have a more complex case mix. Palliation for patients with functionally univentricular heart was performed less commonly in China. These comparison of patterns of practice and outcomes demonstrate opportunities for continuing bidirectional transcontinental collaboration and quality improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalCongenital heart disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Outcomes
  • congenital heart surgery
  • China
  • Europe
  • database

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